Perhaps it is with an eye toward jump-starting a lethargic pass rush that the Bears promoted rookie seventh-round pick Ervin Baldwin to the active roster today from the practice squad.
The defensive end joins the mix after veteran safety Terrence Holt was released, ending a three-week stay on the roster for him.
Baldwin joins a veteran group at defensive end that already has starters Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye and reserve Mark Anderson. Holt was expendable with Danieal Manning returning from a hamstring pull.
It will be interesting to see if Baldwin gets thrown into the mix right away. Anderson has more or less disappeared. It's not just that he is yet to record a sack, he's rarely showing up when he's on the field. He has 10 tackles (three solos) to go with two tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries in what has been steady playing time in a rotation behind the starters. After notching 16 sacks in his first 20 NFL games, Anderson has just one in the last 21. He did miss the final two games last season with an ankle injury.
Baldwin, the first pick of the seventh round, is a raw project though. He played almost exclusively in garbage time in preseason and was credited with six tackles and one sack of Seattle's Charlie Frye.
He was drafted on potential after turning in his best games as a senior at Michigan State against Michigan's Jake Long and then Boston College's Gosder Cherilus, a pair of first-round picks. Long, of course, was the top pick in the draft.
We'll get a better feel for what the plan is with Baldwin on Wednesday. It would be a surprise if the defense would stand pat after making the move to elevate him.