Alec Ogletree's Short Visit to Chicago

It turned into a trip much longer for the Bears linebacker than he ever anticipated.
By Gene Chamberlain ,

Alec Ogletree came to Chicago to visit friend Robert Quinn and ended up staying as an inside linebacker for the Bears.

Perhaps he'll also stick around in the starting job he's going to hold when the Bears go to Los Angeles Sept. 12 for the season opener against his old team, the Rams.

"It's been a journey for sure," Ogletree said. "I've been blessed enough to make it to my ninth year in the league, and it hasn't all been smooth for sure, but I am here now.

"And I'm thankful for the opportunity to be here and get a chance to play."

Ogletree will take the place of Danny Trevathan, who's on injured reserve due to knee soreness. Coach Matt Nagy said the knee injury wasn't new and Trevathan hadn't suffered the injury in the preseason finale.

"With Danny, for us ... we want to get him to a point to where he can get back to that full 100 percent," Nagy said. "And you saw he missed some time there in training camp. 

"It was good to be able to get him out there in that past preseason game and see what he could do. That was the best thing for us right now, and Danny understands that."

An unwritten rule of the NFL is starters don't lose their jobs because of injuries—it's unwritten because it's not even true.

Of course it happens, and for Ogletree the opportunity is there. He's already shown what he can do with opportunity when he came to Chicago and was signed by the Bears after a camp injury to backup linebacker Christian Jones.

"It was funny, when Alec came in here—you (media) remember, he had like seven picks in three days," Nagy said. "He took advantage of an opportunity.

"He's moved around really well, he's taken to the defense. I think you see that and you understand that we appreciate that from him. He took advantage of a great opportunity."

It all happened so suddenly for Ogletree and there hasn't been a real break in practices longer than a day, so he continued living with Quinn and stayed there throughout camp and preseason. 

He ran somewhat short on clothing since he never planned on staying long.

"Bought a couple things," he said. "Go buy some underwear and stuff like that to pass you through. 

"But you've pretty much got everything here (at Halas Hall) that you really need. You're here 10, 12 hours throughout the day and you only go home to go to sleep. So it's pretty much like whatever they have here for you, that's what I was wearing."

Ogletree missed his 5-year-old son's start to kindergarten. His wife and son had both come on the trip to Chicago because they were all visiting Quinn's wife, who is a close friend.

Then the Bears called his agent the day before they were to leave to go back to Atlanta.

"I was going back to get him ready for school and stuff and then, God works in mysterious ways obviously," Ogletree said.  

Going to L.A. to play the Rams marks the first time he faced his original team since leaving them following the 2017 season, his fifth year in the league.

"I'm wiser than I was as a player with them," Ogletree said. "I've seen a lot of coverages, a lot of defenses, played in pretty much anything. So I kind of know how things work and stuff like that."

They work in very mysterious ways is how they work.

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