The Bears are on a bye week in Week Seven and their defensive line will have a different look when they return to action next week.
The team announced Thursday that they have released veteran defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff and signed former first-round pick Ziggy Hood.
Ratliff missed the first three games of the season with a suspension and missed the fourth week with an ankle injury, but returned to start the last two games. He had eight tackles in those appearances.
Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Ratliff was escorted from the team’s facility by team security on Wednesday after an “animated exchange” with General Manager Ryan Pace. It’s unclear whether that happened before or after the team decided to part ways with him, but if it was the former it couldn’t have helped his chances of remaining employed.
“We felt moving forward without Jeremiah was in the best interest of our team,” Pace said in a statement on Thursday.
It’s the second change to the defensive line in the last week. Defensive lineman Ego Ferguson was placed on injured reserve last weekend.
Hood was a first-round pick of the Steelers in 2009 and played in 80 games for Pittsburgh in his first five NFL seasons. He moved on to Jacksonville last year and was placed on injured reserve by the Jags at the end of camp. He was released from IR earlier this week, freeing him to make the move to Chicago on Thursday.
Hood joins Will Sutton, Jarvis Jenkins, Eddie Goldman, Mitch Unrein and Bruce Gaston up front for the Bears.