Bears add tight end depth, claim J.P. Holtz off waivers

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The Bears claimed tight end J.P. Holtz, who was released by Washington this week, and waived defensive lineman Abdullah Anderson on Wednesday, adding some depth to their tight end room. 

The 26-year-old Holtz played in his first NFL game on Sunday, when Washington promoted him from its practice squad to active roster with tight end Jordan Reed out. Holtz played 14 special teams snaps but did not play on offense. 

The 6-foot-3, 255 pound Pitt alum last played in college in 2015, finishing his career with the Panthers with 81 catches for 931 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was on practice squads for the Cleveland Browns and Washington from 2016-2018. 

Holtz caught five passes for 63 yards during preseason play this year, and has 10 catches for 89 yards with one touchdown in 15 career preseason games. 

The Bears kept four tight ends on their initial 53-man roster, though were without Trey Burton (groin) for their season opener last Thursday. Unless the Bears were to view Holtz as a better in-line blocking option than converted tackle Bradley Sowell, their best-case scenario is having him be inactive on Sunday — meaning Burton would be back in the lineup. 

If Burton is inactive, expect Holtz to be active on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Coach Matt Nagy reiterated that Burton — who did practice Wednesday — remains day-to-day. 

“We’ll just see how he goes, how he is,” Nagy said. “I mean, in Trey’s case, just so as we go here, I cannot be any more honest or forthcoming on Trey Burton. I mean it. I’m telling you. Everything I’ve got, I’m telling you. We’re going to see how he does. If he does good, let’s see how he does the next day. And then if we get to it and we feel like he’s good to go, we all collaborate on it, let’s go. If we don’t, then we’re not.”

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