EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After being benched last Monday night, three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris was back in action Sunday night. But not as a starter.
Harris has started 86 games since he was the Bears' first-round draft choice in 2004, but he played behind Matt Toeaina, who got his second straight start Sunday night and led all Bears linemen with 3 first-half tackles. Harris got his first snap on the Giants' second possession and played in a normal rotation, getting a dozen snaps in the first half.
According to coach Lovie Smith, Harris' demotion was performance related. He had a total of 1 tackle in the first two games.
"It's how you come back from it," Harris said of the benching, his third in as many seasons. "That's all that matters. I'm used to it."
Harris denied he needed to have a fire lit under him by the coaching staff, which was a popular theory for his inactivity.
"I don't need motivation," Harris said last week. "I'm a grown man. I don't need to be sat to be motivated. So I just come to work and that's what I do and I will be ready when my number is called."
In Harris' absence in Week 3 against the Packers, Marcus Harrison was active for the first time this season, but he was not credited with a tackle against the Packers and was inactive again Monday night.
• Cornerback Tim Jennings, who replaced Zack Bowman when Bowman was benched in the second quarter last week, got his first start as a Bear and played most of the first half. Bowman got in for one series in the first half but started the second half and wound up splitting time.