10 Bears questions: on shade, Jay Cutler’s thumb, PUP and more
Jeff Rodgers scouted the Colts’ special teams — but also the shadows.
The Bears’ special teams coach noticed the Colts opened their roof Oct. 4, 2015 against the Jaguars — who play Sunday at Soldier Field — and figured they might again last week.
The reason: one of four retractable rooks in the league, Lucas Oil Stadium has the only one that opens sideline to sideline. The shadows are unlike any in the NFL.
“We try and take as many punts as we can in the sun,” Rodgers said. “In the shade, guys are usually okay from a lightening standpoint.”
While we wonder if the league thinks that’s shady — get it? — here are 10 more questions for the Bears:
1. No Jay Cutler on Sunday?
Correct. Since spraining his right thumb ligaments Sept. 19, he’s practiced— and was extremely limited.
He was ruled doubtful for Sunday’s game — along with running back Jeremy Langford and nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who have ankle injuries. Cornerback Deiondre Hall (ankle) is out.
2. The Bears have 13 questionable players for Sunday? Is that a record?
Amazingly, they had 13 questionable players last week, too.
It’s remarkable: the Vikings have had seven all year, while the Packers have had 12.
The full Bears list for Sunday (deep breath): outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (calf), running back Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring), receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), receiver Eddie Royal (calf), tight end Zach Miller (ribs), guard Kyle Long (shoulder), tackle Bobby Massie (ankle), guard Josh Sitton (shoulder), inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (wrist), outside linebacker Sam Acho (ribs), outside linebacker Willie Young (knee/elbow), cornerback Bryce Callahan (hamstring) and cornerback Tracy Porter (knee).
All but Floyd were limited. The first-round pick did not practice Friday.
3. What’s with Marquess Wilson?
The Bears receiver was eligible to practice Friday and start a 21-day clock to return from the physically unable to perform list, but didn’t. Instead, Wilson wore a walking boot on the left foot he broke, for the second time, in June.
Coach John Fox said it wasn’t a setback, despite the fact Wilson had been an active observer, with no booth, in recent weeks.
“Just part of his recovery,” he said.
4. Will the Bears start the game with a takeaway?
Blake Bortles will give them a chance. He threw interceptions in the first quarter of each of his first three games. The Bears have only one first-quarter takeaway all season: Porter’s interception in the opener.
After throwing six interceptions and fumbling once in his first three games, the Jaguars quarterback did not turn the ball over against the Colts. In 33 games, he’s never gone consecutive contests without one.
5. Does Brian Hoyer need a scouting report?
This will mark the fifth time since 2013 Hoyer’s team has played the Jaguars.
Hoyer beat them twice as the starter for AFC South rival Houston last year, completing 49 of 76 passes for 533 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
He lost to the Jaguars as a member of the 2014 Browns — he went 16-for-41 for 215 yards and a pick — but did not play when the two teams one year earlier.
6. Is Jeffery going to both Cubs games this weekend?
The receiver — who threw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field earlier this year — says he’ll attend one.
“They’re going to win the World Series. … ” he said. “I’m pretty sure all the Giants fans thought they had that last one. That’s how the game goes — you’ve got to stay with it.”
7. Wanna bet?
The Jaguars have won more “home” games at Wembley Stadium in the last two years than they have road games. They’ve lost 17 of their last 18 road games entering Sunday.
8. So the Colts were jet-lagged?
The Jaguars took a bye after beating the Colts at Wembley two weeks ago. The Colts didn’t, making their win against the Bears all that more impressive, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.
“We just thought that would be a difficult transition,” Bradley said. “But they seemed to handle it pretty well.”
9. How would Malik Jackson have looked in navy?
The Jaguars’ defensive tackle wanted to reunite with Fox, but couldn’t say no to Jacksonville’s six-year, $90 million deal.
“Malik’s obviously a good football player,” Fox said. “I think he’s pretty well-compensated, when you look into those types of things.”
10. Why’s Jimmy Clausen on my TV?
The former Bears quarterback, who is out of football, will serve as NBC’s guest analyst for pregame, halftime and postgame coverage of Notre Dame’s game Saturday.
Clausen is a Fighting Irish legend, throwing for 8,148 yards from 2007-09.
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