Bears sign former Cowboy Ratliff to 1-year contract

Posted Saturday, Nov. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract with former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, hoping he can boost their struggling line once he’s ready to play.

Agent Mark Slough confirmed the move Saturday. He said Ratliff will join the team sometime next week and should be ready to play in two to four weeks.

A four-time Pro Bowl pick, Ratliff is joining a struggling defensive line. He also is getting a fresh start after being released by Dallas in mid-October.

The Cowboys said at the time that he failed a physical after spending the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list. Ratliff missed the last six games of 2012 with a groin injury that required surgery and never practiced for Dallas this season.

Slough said Ratliff was cleared by the surgeon a few weeks ago and his client is “good to go.” He just has to “get over that last 10, 15 percent.”

That probably can’t happen soon enough for the Bears, who struggled right from the start to generate pressure and then got hit hard by injuries. Even so, Slough said the team won’t rush Ratliff.

“The Bears are going to be patient,” he said. “It’s more about getting him ready and right.”

The Bears (4-3) have dropped three of four and are trying to keep pace with Green Bay and Detroit in the tough NFC North. They visit the Packers on Monday night. Quarterback Jay Cutler (torn groin muscle) and linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) are both out for the next few weeks.

Waters goes on IR

Dallas Cowboys guard Brian Waters’ season is over, and possibly his career.

The Cowboys put the veteran right guard on season-ending injured reserve to clear a spot for cornerback Micah Pellerin, who has been signed from the practice squad.

Waters, 36, started the past five games for the Cowboys before suffering three injuries in last Sunday’s loss to the Lions. Waters originally injured his knee, and then had rib and triceps injuries occur when he returned.

— Drew Davison

Surgery for Fox?

Denver coach John Fox is expected to have heart valve surgery that could sideline him for up to two months, ESPN reported Saturday night, citing a team official.

Fox was kept overnight for observation at a Charlotte, N.C., hospital after feeling light-headed playing golf during the Broncos’ bye week Saturday. Team spokesman Patrick Smyth said the 58-year-old Fox “is in good spirits and he told me he did not suffer a heart attack.”

Tests will continue today, ESPN reported. The report said Fox was aware he had a heart valve condition that would require surgery.

Bullying disputed

The NFL Players Association announced Saturday that it is not investigating the circumstances that led to Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin leaving the team last week, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported.

A source claims Martin didn’t leave the Dolphins because of bullying by teammates, but because of other emotional issues that caused the 2012 second-round pick to feel the need to take a break from football.

Patriots injury

Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly was put on injured reserve after missing the past three games with a right knee injury.

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