Packers make another move to bolster defensive depth with Ego Ferguson

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers want to see if former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Ego Ferguson can do two things: stay healthy and live up to the billing he had as a second-round draft pick in 2014.

The Packers claimed him off waivers Monday, ESPN’s Field Yates reported. The Bears cut him Friday after a short, injury-filled career in Chicago that saw him play in just 20 of a possible 48 games.

Ferguson was the 51st overall pick of the 2014 draft out of LSU. He was selected two spots before the Packers took receiver Davante Adams. As a rookie, Ferguson made a solid contribution with 23 tackles and two sacks while playing in all 16 games.

A shoulder injury in training camp last year ended his season before it got started. He spent all of last season on injured reserve. He played in just four games in 2015 because of a knee injury (patellar tendon). He also was suspended four games that season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Ferguson served that suspension while on injured reserve.

The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Ferguson is the second addition to the Packers' defensive line this offseason. Earlier, they signed veteran Ricky Jean Francois to a one-year, $2 million deal.

There’s little risk with Ferguson, who has one year remaining on his original deal. The Packers will be responsible for his $980,892 base salary only if he makes the 53-man roster.

The Packers will start this season without defensive tackle Letroy Guion, who will serve a four-game suspension for a PED violation. Other than veteran Mike Daniels, they don’t have a lot of experience up front on defense. Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry played well in spots last season as rookies but were not full-time players.