June 24, 2024

The Chicago Bears and their NFC North rivals have exchanged players frequently in recent seasons, and now one pass-catcher has made his way through the entire division.

The Minnesota Vikings recently signed tight end Robert Tonyan Jr., marking the fourth and final NFC North team to employ him. The Vikings announced the signing on May 17, along with the waiving of linebacker Donovan Manuel.

Tonyan spent last season with the Bears on a $2.65 million contract, appearing in all 17 games with six starts. He recorded 11 catches for 112 yards on 17 targets but did not score a touchdown.

Before joining Chicago, Tonyan enjoyed a five-year tenure with the Green Bay Packers, where he became one of quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ preferred targets. Tonyan’s NFL journey began with the Detroit Lions in 2017, though he never played a regular-season game for them, earning just $28,800 on the practice squad.

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Tonyan may see significant playing time against the Bears when the Vikings face Chicago in Week 12 in November. However, his role in Minnesota might be temporary, as the team awaits the return of T.J. Hockenson. The former Lions tight end and two-time Pro Bowler is recovering from knee surgery and is expected to be fully healthy before either of the Bears-Vikings matchups, potentially limiting Tonyan’s impact.

 

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