Former Notre Dame superstar and Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Te’o has largely fallen off the map in recent years. But after failing to find a team before the start of the season, it looks like he could be getting another shot.
According to Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Bears have offered Te’o a tryout. Te’o is one of three linebackers being invited, along with Deone Bucannon and Justin Phillips.
It’s been a rough couple of years for Te’o, who has played in just eight games with four starts in the last two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He has 24 tackles and one QB hit in that span.
Fortunately, Te’o was at least healthy during those last two years. His health was a serious problem during his first four NFL seasons with the then-San Diego Chargers.
During his first four seasons, Te’o never played a complete season and was hampered by two foot injuries, an ankle fracture and a torn Achilles.
Bears are offering a tryout to linebacker Manti Te’o, formerly of Notre Dame, the Chargers & Saints. They’re also auditioning linebackers Deone Bucannon (Cardinals, Bucs, Giants) and Justin Phillips (Cowboys/Raiders PS).
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) October 14, 2020
Te’o recorded 437 tackles, 8.5 sacks, seven interceptions and two forced fumbles in four years at Notre Dame. His defensive dominance helped bring the Fighting Irish to the national title game in 2012.
But he fell out of the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft following a rough combine. He ultimately went to the Chargers in the second round.
At 29 years of age, Te’o likely doesn’t have a whole lot of time left to play at a high level.
Hopefully he makes the most of his tryout with the Bears.