The Bears extended a contract tender to Irving on Thursday, Patrick Finley of The Chicago Sun-Times reports. Irving played only 116 defensive snaps across 13 games with the Bears last season, logging eight tackles during that time. The third-year linebacker will serve as a backup to All-Pro Khalil Mack (knee) in 2019.
Irving is expected to compete for a key role in the Bears' outside linebacker rotation, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports. "We feel he can make a push," said Bears linebacker coach Brandon Staley. "We really felt before he got hurt at the end of last year that he was making a push. We like a lot of the things that he brings to the table -- he can rush, he is outstanding in the run game, heavy-handed, (and) he can move his feet really well in pass coverage." Irving was slowly but surely carving out a significant role in the Bears defense last season before a knee injury planted him on injured reserve in early December. Now healthy, the second-year linebacker has reportedly added 20 pounds of muscle this offseason and apparently was turning heads in spring workouts. Behind starters Leonard Floyd and Sam Acho, offseason addition Aaron Lynch is the only OLB that's been working ahead of Irving.
The Bears placed Irving (knee) on injured reserve Saturday, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune reports. Irving suffered a knee injury at Wednesday's practice and will spend the remainder of the season on IR as a result. The rookie played in five games over the course of the season, but failed to log any tackles.