Signed as a free agent this offseason, Blake Costanzo was brought in to be a major contributor on special teams but because of the injury to Brian Urlacher, Costanzo’s role has changed.
Saturday night against the Redskins, the Bears first-team defense lined up the same as it has since the Urlacher injury: Geno Hayes on the strong side, Nick Roach in the middle and Lance Briggs on the weak side. During the second quarter, the Bears moved Roach back to his natural position of strong side linebacker and put Costanzo in at middle linebacker. Costanzo played well, finishing the game with six tackles.
Brian Urlacher’s injury is still unknown and despite being adamant that he will be there for the season opener, the Bears have to make sure they are prepared for life without Urlacher. Roach’s best position is strong side linebacker and although Costanzo has little experience in this scheme, the Bears will take a hard look at what he can do at middle linebacker.
If Costanzo comes out and plays as well as he did Saturday against the Redskins he has an opportunity to push Roach back to the outside and claim the middle in case Urlacher cannot return.