Jarron Gilbert is ready to go.
That is what Bears general manager Jerry Angelo announced earlier today on the team's Web site.
The rookie third-round draft pick from San Jose State, who was the team's top pick after the Jay Cutler trade and after Angelo traded down and out of the second round, has been active for only two of the 11 games so far. He didn't get on the field in one of the two that he dressed for, but the team is confident he has made strides on the practice field.
"When we drafted Jarron Gilbert, we drafted the value of his position. We did not draft a need,'' Angelo said. "Because of that, he's having to wait his turn. There are [players] ahead of him. You normally dress seven defensive linemen, but we've been dressing eight, so it's hard to get him active. He's ready to go. I'm anxious to see him. The coaches feel he's ready to play and deserves to play. It's just a matter of numbers on game day."
Lovie Smith has said he will make decisions that are best for the team each Sunday, not necessarily for Sundays next fall, so where that leaves Gilbert remains to be seen. Gilbert was drafted as a tackle, but has also been worked at left end since the end of training camp. Where he fits into the mix right now remains to be seen. The team dresses tackles Anthony Adams, Tommie Harris, Marcus Harrison and Israel Idonije, and ends Gaines Adams, Mark Anderson, Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye.
Stay tuned to see how the team can work Gilbert into a rotation, or if it can. One thing the Bears have been blessed with this season is pretty good health, particularly on the defensive line.