BUSY BEARS WAIVE IDONIJE: The Bears on Friday signed defensive end Jamil Merrell and linebacker Conor O’Neill, waived safety Sean Cattouse, quarterback Jerrod Johnson and tight end Fendi Onobun, and terminated the contract of vested veteran defensive lineman Israel Idonije.
The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Merrell appeared in 34 games with 18 starts over four seasons (2010-13) at Rutgers, collecting 81 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 16 tackles for losses, one forced fumble and four pass break-ups. As team captain in his senior season, Merrell saw action in 11 games, starting the Scarlet Knights bowl game, gathering 23 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for losses and two pass break-ups.
The 6-0, 230-pound O’Neill appeared in 53 games with nine starts over four seasons (2010-13) at Wisconsin, registering 91 tackles, seven tackles for losses, three forced fumbles, one interception, one fumble recovery and four pass break-ups.
Cattouse has appeared in two NFL games during his two-year NFL career with San Diego (2012) and Chicago (2013) after entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Chargers in 2012.
Johnson has spent time with Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Chicago since entering the NFL in 2011 but has not appeared in a regular-season game.
Onobun has appeared in four games in two seasons with St. Louis (2010) and Jacksonville (2011), grabbing two receptions for 15 yards. He spent the 2013 season on the Bears practice squad but did not appear in a regular-season game for Chicago.
For his NFL career, Idonije has started 50 of 149 games, registering 273 tackles, 29 sacks, 40 tackles for losses, six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. He has added 36 special teams tackles and eight blocked kicks.
TARP SLIDE AT U.S. STEEL YARD: RailCats fans can pay $5 to slide for five minutes on the tarp at U.S. Steel Yard.
Attendees to Sunday's game against Lincoln can purchase a ticket to spend five minutes using the tarp as a slip-and-slide. The activity will happen after the 2 p.m. game.
For more information, call the RailCats ticket office at (219) 882-2255.
CHIEFS ADVANCE IN POOL PLAY: Trevor Brooks (Munster) improved to 4-0 with a five-hitter and Grant Mullin went 3-for-4 with four RBIs as the Hammond Chiefs crushed the Cincinnati Swarm, 13-3, in the Past-Time Tournament Friday at Eastern Kentucky University.
Anthony Quintero (Griffith) added two hits and two RBIs and Logan Kent (Crete-Monee) had two hits and scored three runs to help set up today's 2:45 p.m. pool play game with Oakland City (Mich.).
STEWART TIMES UNEXPECTEDLY FASTER: Tony Stewart was running lap times about a second faster than expected at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when a blown tire caused him to wreck during this week's Goodyear test.
Goodyear officials said Stewart's accident on Tuesday 17 laps into a 20-lap run was the only incident of the two-day test. The three-time NASCAR champion was not injured.
MURRAY TO START WIMBLEDON DEFENSE: Andy Murray will start the defense of his Wimbledon title against David Goffin of Belgium and could face top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
Murray, who became the first British player to win at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 last summer, has never played the 104th-ranked Goffin.
Friday's draw put Murray in the top half with Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and was runner-up last year. Second-seeded Rafael Nadal is in the bottom half with seven-time champion Roger Federer.
In the women's draw, top-ranked and five-time champion Serena Williams is in the same quarter as French Open champion Maria Sharapova. They could face each other in the quarterfinals
MCDOWELL TIES FOR LEAD: Graeme McDowell birdied four of his closing eight holes to join two-time runner-up Robert Rock in the lead early on day two of the Irish Open.
Both players shot 5-under-par 66 to move to 8 under for the tournament in superb scoring conditions at the Fota Island course.
McDowell, who is looking to win the Irish Open for the first time, birdied three holes in succession from his 11th, and birdied his 15th.
It is his lowest 36-hole European Tour tally in 15 months, since he was 11 under en route to a tie for third in last year's Cadillac Championship at Doral.
Around the horn
Chesterton's youth football camp for children entering grades K-6 is Monday through Thursday at the high school field. Grades K-3 will meet from 1-2:30 p.m., followed by grades 4-6 from 2:30-4. Cost is $55 or $90 for multiple children from the same family. Checks are payable to CHS Football Boosters. ...