The promotion of linebacker Joey LaRocque from the practice squad this late in the week means one thing--he can expect to play Sunday at Soldier Field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The rookie seventh-round pick from Oregon State was informed Thursday night he would be promoted and the move will officially be made this afternoon when safety Brandon McGowan is placed on injured reserve, as we Twittered more than 90 minutes ago. LaRocque can figure he will be on the field because the Bears do not hand out roster spots for players to stand on the sidelines with a terrific view and collect a game check.
The minimum for practice squad players is $5,200 per week, which is less than a third of what first-year players earn on a weekly basis--$16,764,706. If LaRocque was not going to suit up and be active on special teams against the Bucs, the Bears would not have more than tripled his salary for the week and paid for a hotel room for him downtown Saturday night. It doesn't work that way.
LaRacque's promotion figures to involve rookie safety Craig Steltz also. Steltz is not expected to play as he has a sprained right ankle that kept him out of practice the last two days. Steltz was the obvious replacement for McGowan on special teams. Now that he's unable to fill that role, LaRocque gets the call even if he doesn't address the shortage the Bears now have in the secondary. If LaRocque goes out and plays well, he could take a step toward ensuring it's a permanent roster spot for him.