Injury bug continues to bite Bears
Starters Urlacher, Jennings, Conte and Bennett unable to finish game
By Vaughn McClure, Chicago Tribune reporter
6:53 p.m. CST, December 2, 2012
Injuries were a significant factor for the Bears for a second week in a row.
Starters Brian Urlacher, Tim Jennings, Chris Conte and Earl Bennett all were unable to finish the game after suffering injuries.
Jennings was told he suffered a sprained right shoulder late in the game when he was hit by Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson. Jennings is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.
Bennett left the game with a concussion, just a week after fellow receiver Devin Hester suffered a mild concussion. Urlacher had a hamstring issue, while Conte was sick from the outset and couldn't continue after starting the game.
"We're concerned," defensive end Julius Peppers said of the injuries. "We need everybody on the field. We've just got to get everybody healthy and we've got to have some guys on the second line step up."
Geno Hayes, Craig Steltz and Zack Bowman all saw time on defense with Urlacher, Conte and Jennings out, while Eric Weems had an increased role on offense and as a returner with Bennett sidelined.
On the line: The Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall combination made the offense look that much better, but the offensive line seemed to hold up OK with Gabe Carimi starting for the first time at right guard, Jonathan Scott starting his second game at right tackle, and Edwin Williams starting at left guard. Williams did a remarkable job early in the game as a pulling guard, something that hasn't necessarily been his strength.
Cutler was sacked just once against a rather solid defensive front, but he also made a lot of plays with his feet.
"There are some things that we know we have to do better," Scott said. "It's never as good as you think and never as bad as you think. You can't really say until you watch the film.
"That attitude and energy, I felt, was there. But that's more of an assumption than a fact. We just have to swallow this loss and move forward. Panicking is not going to help. We just have to address the situation, man up to it, and move forward."
On the run: Matt Forte, coming off a sprained right ankle, finished with 66 yards on 21 carries, with a long run of 10 yards. He also caught three passes for 30 yards with a 12-yard touchdown reception off a slant.
The Bears finished with 132 rushing yards on 32 carries.
"We ran the ball well, I think," Forte said. "We started off slow."
Extra points: Peppers picked up his seventh sack of the season. ... Urlacher picked up a penalty for a horse-collar tackle for a second straight week. He was fined $15,750 last week and now faces a $31,500 fine for a second offense. … Rookie offensive tackle James Brown saw action as an extra linemen in the heavy package. ... Alshon Jeffery (knee), Chris Spencer (meniscus tear) and Hester were inactive, as were D.J. Moore, Josh McCown and Matt Toeaina.