After Injuries, Ex-Viking Promoted to Bears Active Roster

Oct 14, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A Chicago Bears helmet and gloves sit on the field prior to the game between the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports.

The Chicago Bears have endured one of the worst weeks imaginable from a media perspective, from comments by the team’s QB1 Justin Fields about coaching to a bizarre resignation from defensive coordinator Alan Williams.

The weekend isn’t any friendlier, taking on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

After Injuries, Ex-Viking Promoted to Bears Active Roster

Along the way, the Bears signed a former Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle to the active roster, veteran Aviante Collins.

Promoted to Bears
Aug 12, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Aviante Collins (61) blocks Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Joe Ostman (95) at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN’s Courtney Cronin tweeted Wednesday, “The Bears placed LT Braxton Jones on injured reserve and signed OL Aviante Collins to the active roster. OL Austen Pleasants has been signed to the practice squad.”

Chicago also lost offensive tackle Teven Jenkins to injured reserve in August.

Oct 9, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Aviante Collins (76), tight end Blake Bell (81), and tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) make their way onto the field prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports.

Collins joined the Bears summer roster in July, was cut during roster shave-downs in August, hopped onto the practice squad, and will now see the regular season light of day once again. He played in two games last year as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, albeit very few offensive snaps.

The Bears are Collins’ fourth team in seven seasons. Here’s his destination resume to date:

  • Minnesota Vikings (2017–2020)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2021)
  • Dallas Cowboys (2021–2022)
  • Chicago Bears (2023)
Aug 21, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Texas Christian University former teammates Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Aviante Collins (61) and Detroit Lions offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (72) look on after their game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

Former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman found Collins via undrafted free agency in 2017, and the TCU alumnus remained attached to the roster, mostly in a practice squad capacity, for four seasons. Collins joined the Steelers thereafter in February 2021.

Collins experienced regular season action for the Vikings in 2017 and 2019. He started a game in 2019 and played 77 total offensive snaps in purple from 2017 until his departure after the 2020 season. The 30-year-old also played 12 special teams snaps in Dallas last season.

Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings center Pat Elflein (65) and tackle Aviante Collins (76) against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoff football game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

These are the Bears offensive tackles as of September 22nd:

  • RT1: Darnell Wright
  • RT2: Aviante Collins
  • LT1: Larry Borom

The Bears employ three other former Vikings players: Khari Blasingame (FB), DeMarquis Gates (LB), and Yannick Ngakoue (OLB).

Chicago’s season hasn’t started as planned, encountering two disappointing losses out of the gate to the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And that was after a summer of optimism — especially by boisterous fans — suggesting the franchise was ready to take the big jump to prominence. So far, nothing of the sort has occurred, and the aforementioned Fields is again scraping the bottom of the barrel per all credible quarterback metrics, as he did in 2022.

Chicago is a 12.5-point underdog at Kansas City for Collins’ first game as a Bear.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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