Bears reach deal with Ratliff

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Updated: 11/04/2013 3:31 pm

Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Seeking help for an injury-riddled interior of their defensive line, the Chicago Bears agreed to terms with four- time Pro Bowl selection Jay Ratliff on a one-year contract Saturday.

The move comes less than three weeks after Ratliff was released by the Dallas Cowboys due to a failed physical. The nine-year veteran has not played in a game since November of last season while recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Ratliff also has endured some setbacks off the field, having been arrested and charged with DWI back in January after crashing his pickup truck into an 18- wheeler. He has a trial date set for next February.

If healthy, the 32-year-old should bolster a Chicago defensive line that has had a pair of tackles, including 2012 Pro Bowl honoree Henry Melton, sustain season-ending injuries this season. Melton tore his ACL in September, while Nate Collins suffered the same fate the following week.

The Bears have been using converted end Corey Wootton alongside starter Stephen Paea at the position in recent weeks.

Ratliff did start all 16 games for the Cowboys in four consecutive seasons prior to being limited to six last year, earning Pro Bowl citations in each of those campaigns.

The former seventh-round pick had spent his entire career with Dallas and has recorded 228 tackles and 27 sacks over 104 NFL games.

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