Ratliff was released by the Bears on Thursday. After accruing 6.5 sacks in just 11 games last season, Ratliff entered 2015 as the Bears' top defensive lineman, making his release an unexpected development. It appears his termination wasn't for performance-based reasons, as Ratliff's dismissal likely stemmed from a heated argument with GM Ryan Pace outside the Bears' practice facility Wednesday morning, according to ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson. The Chicago Sun-Times' Adam Jahns reports that the confrontation required police intervention, with Ratliff ultimately escorted away from the premises. It's not clear what's next for the 34-year-old, whose off-the-field baggage and history of disruptive behavior in the locker room may give other teams pause in signing him.
Ratliff (ankle) is active for Sunday's game against the Chiefs. After serving a three-game suspension to begin the season and missing another game due to the ankle injury he sustained in the preseason, Ratliff is finally ready to make his 2015 debut. He's expected to start at the three-technique tackle spot, moving rookie Eddie Goldman to a bench role.
Bears defensive end Jeremiah Ratliff was suspended by the NFL for three games Monday for violating the league's substance abuse policy, per ESPN.com. Ratliff can participate in the preseason, but he will not be allowed to return to the team until Monday, Sept. 28. He pleaded guilty in April to a DWI charge from 2013, where he crashed his car into an 18-wheeler and his blood-alcohol limit was more than twice the legal limit. Ratliff had 6.5 sacks with the Bears last season, his first after four Pro Bowl-seasons with the Cowboys.
Bears safety Chris Conte will miss Sunday's game against the Vikings with a back injury. Conte was unable to practice all week. He played 12 games this season, recording 43 tackles and three interceptions. Also out are quarterback Jimmy Clausen (concussion) and kicker Robbie Gould (quad). Defensive end Jared Allen (ribs), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, and cornerback Al Lewis-Jean (hamstring) are all listed a questionable for Sunday. David Bass (knee), Ego Ferguson (ankle), Kyle Long (hip) and Marquess Wilson (knee) are all listed as probable. The Bears are 6-point underdogs for Sunday's game.
The Bears have ruled defensive tackle Will Sutton (illness), cornerback Tim Jennings (ankle), guard Kyle Long (hip) and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) questionable for Week 16 against Detroit. Meanwhile, cornerback Kyle Fuller (hand) and linebacker Shea McClellin (ankle) were designated as probable.