Bears sign former Notre Dame star Manti Te’o

The Fighting Irish star is back in the NFL

Manti Te’o will have his chance to return to the NFL. This time, it’ll be closer to where he made a name for himself in college.

According to Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times, the former Notre Dame standout linebacker has officially signed a deal to join the Chicago Bears practice squad. The news was later confirmed by Larry Mayer of

Te’o, 29, has not been on a roster this season before the signing. Last season with the Saints, he tallied six total tackles in three games before missing the remainder of the 2019 season.

Te’o gets his chance at redemption

Drafted 38th overall by the then-San Diego Chargers in the 2013 NFL Draft, Te’o was expected to be a productive NFL linebacker. Three games into a contract year, Te’o tore his Achilles tendon and was out for the remainder of the 2016 season.

One of the most recognizable names in Notre Dame’s history (for both good and bad reasons), Te’o became a sensation thanks to his sure-fire wrap-up tackling skills and Samoan ancestry. A four-year starter, he would finish his time in South Bend with 437 career tackles, 34 tackles for losses, 8.5 sacks and recorded seven interceptions in his final season.

Te’o would also be named a Heisman finalist for the 2012 season. On top of heading to the Big Apple, he won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player and the Butkus Award, given out to the best linebacker in the country.

Te’o will add depth behind starters Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith, and could be promoted to the active roster for Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. He will take the practice squad spot of Kai Forbath, who was signed to the Rams’ active roster earlier this week.

In 62 games, Te’o has tallied 307 career tackles, 22 tackles for losses, 13 pass breakups, two interceptions, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

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