Former Stony Brook defensive tackle Sam Kamara in the game against Villanova on Mar. 6, 2021. Kamara now plays for the Chicago Bears and had his first NFL tackle on Oct. 17. KAT PROCACCI/STATESMAN FILE

Having earned the opportunity of a lifetime, Sam Kamara donned a Chicago Bears jersey in a regular season game for the first time and brought down one of the top running backs in the National Football League (NFL).

The newly-converted linebacker, who played five collegiate seasons at Stony Brook, made his NFL debut on Sunday, Oct. 17 for the Bears against the Green Bay Packers. In the third quarter, Kamara recorded his first professional tackle on a third-down pass play. Following the reception, he wrapped up Packers running back Aaron Jones and pulled him out of bounds, sending Jones down hard enough for the ball to fall out on the sideline.

Kamara was elevated from the practice squad to the Bears’ 53-man roster on Oct. 12, becoming the sixth Stony Brook alumni to reach an NFL active gameday roster following Will Tye, Victor Ochi, Timon Parris, Chris Cooper and Gavin Heslop. The move came as fellow Bears linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, a 2014 second-round pick from Georgia Tech, tore his pectoral and was ruled out for the season.

“We are excited and proud of Sam for the opportunity to join the Bears’ 53-man roster,” Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore said in a press release. “Throughout his career at Stony Brook, Sam was an impact player on the field and was a true leader off the field. We wish him luck moving forward in the NFL.”


Kamara played 15 total snaps on Sunday, including five on defense and 10 on special teams. He also helped the Bears gain 15 yards when Packers running back Kylin Hill was flagged for unnecessary roughness for slapping Kamara across the helmet following a fourth-quarter kickoff.

The former Seawolves defensive tackle signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent immediately following the 2021 NFL Draft and converted to linebacker during the offseason. He recorded six tackles, three quarterback hits and a sack in three preseason games before being waived and re-signed to Chicago’s practice squad.

Kamara was teammates on the practice squad with fellow Stony Brook product Tyrone Wheatley Jr., who transferred from Michigan and played one season as a tight end on the Seawolves before converting to offensive tackle professionally.

In 41 games with Stony Brook, Kamara had 110 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and a fumble recovery. He was named to the All-CAA Second Team in 2018 and the All-CAA First Team in the 2020 season, leading the Seawolves in sacks in both years.


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