Bowman ready to step right in
Returning Bears cornerback can play on special teams immediately
By Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune reporter
October 18, 2012
Zack Bowman has seen the best of the NFC North, at least to this point this season.
The veteran cornerback practiced with the Bears for the first time Wednesday after being signed Tuesday to take the roster spot of departed offensive lineman Chris Williams. He spent the offseason, training camp and preseason with the Vikings and made it through final cuts before they traded for Cardinals cornerback A.J. Jefferson.
Bowman can be plugged in immediately on special teams with a hip injury still sidelining Sherrick McManis. Bowman has been working out six days a week, two times a day in Texas, staying ready for an opportunity. He had a tryout with the Patriots last week and never expected to hear from the Bears.
"I was shocked when I got the phone call but then I realized the opportunity that I had, so I was excited," Bowman said. "The first person that popped in my mind was Chris Harris. He got (traded) when I got here and then he ended up coming back two years later."
Bowman admitted it was a reality check being out of the game for the first six weeks. Now, he's interested in contributing as quickly as possible. As far as the Bears (4-1) and Vikings (4-2), he sees two good teams.
"They are different," Bowman said. "The Bears are a little older group."
Discipline issue: Bears nickel back D.J. Moore was ejected after a tussle with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in the second meeting between teams last season. The Bears had difficulty with penalties in the first meeting at Ford Field, too, committing 14 penalties for 104 yards. They haven't come close to either figure since that Week 5 game.
The Lions found a way to beat the Eagles in Philadelphia last week despite 16 penalties (an NFL high this season) for 132 yards.
To the house: The Lions have allowed four kick return touchdowns this season giving the Bears confidence they can ignite their special teams Monday.
"This is a team that we see some opportunities there," returner Devin Hester said. "But we have to be patient."
Worthy cause: Bears players have mistaken practice squad tight end Gabe Miller for Brody Eldridge, the tight end who was signed to the active roster on Monday. That is because Miller cut his long hair over the weekend, donating it to Locks of Love, the organization that provides hairpieces to disadvantaged youth suffering from serious illnesses.
"I got sick of the maintenance, just shampoo, conditioning, combing and all that," Miller said. "I'd wake up and have to do something. Plus, it got to be 10 inches, which is long enough to donate."
Hurd update: Sam Hurd's cousin, Jesse Tyrone Chavful, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine after admitting he helped Hurd try to establish a cocaine-distribution network.
Hurd, a former Bears receiver, has denied drug charges against him and requested a trial that currently is scheduled for December. Earlier, Toby Lujan of Dallas pleaded guilty for his role in the case.
Extra points: In seven career starts against the Lions, Jay Cutler has a 105 passer rating and has thrown 10 touchdowns with only one interception. … Offensive tackle Cory Brandon, released in final cuts after preseason, was signed to the practice squad.
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I pretty much figured the Bowman signing had to do with the injury to McManis. This is a good thing. Losing both him and Graham in FA was kind of a blow to the coverage teams. Good to have him back as a "gunner". Maybe he can relieve Peanut of that duty.
Good new for Hester as well. He's ripe to return one and it looks like the Lions are vulnerable.
I liked seeing Jay's stats against the Lions too. This is a game we need to win.
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