10:51 p.m. CDT, September 10, 2011
The Bears could get a good look at one of their undrafted rookies during Sunday's season opener.
Receiver Dane Sanzenbacher will be active against the Falcons, according to multiple sources. It's not a huge surprise considering the rookie from Ohio State figured to be used in some capacity and is not a special teams contributor.
The Bears having six receivers active on game day seemed to be somewhat of a stretch, leaving a little doubt about Sanzenbacher's game day status. The number of active receivers could be five, with Sam Hurd's status still unclear. Hurd is listed as questionable coming off a sprained ankle. He was signed primarily to be a special teams contributor.
Devin Hester and Roy Williams are set to start on Sunday with Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett certain to see their share of snaps. There's no guarantee Sanzenbacher will get on the field, but the Bears no doubt want to see what he has to offer.
Quarterback Jay Cutler was asked last week if the 5-foot-11-inch, 180-pound Sanzenbacher could be incorporated into the offense.
"I don’t know," Cutler said. "We’ll see how it goes. He definitely has enough talent to be out there. It’s just a matter of him being able to catch up mentally with everybody else. We have to trust him on Sunday and know he’s going to have all the details down and he’s going to nail it. I think he wants to and we’ll just take it game by game."
Sanzenbacher is one of five undrafted rookies on the 53-man roster. Safety Winston Venable seems certain to play Sunday as a four-phase special teams contributor. It's unclear if tight end Kyle Adams, defensive end Mario Addison, and linebacker Dom DeCicco are in the plans for Sunday.