1985 Bears Coverage: Bears with a few league leaders

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Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

Bears with a few league leaders

Kevin Lamb

Originally published Nov. 1, 1985

Rookie third-round wide receiver James Maness pulled a groin muscle in practice yesterday. “We’ll know more tomorrow,” trainer Fred Caito said. If the injury is serious, coach Mike Ditka said he might have to go on injured reserve.

If a roster spot opens up, Ditka could fill it from among wide receiver Brian Baschnagel, tight end Pat Dunsmore and linebackers Brian Cabral and Danny Rains. All are on IR but have recovered from their injuries. The Bears have until noon tomorrow to make a roster change for the game at Green Bay Sunday.

Caito said cornerback Mike Richardson was still “very, very doubtful” for Sunday. Ken Taylor would replace him, and Ditka said Reggie Phillips, the other rookie cornerback, probably would play, too, because the Packers like to use three wide receivers.

Defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan said he was glad the Vikings took Tommy Kramer out of the game against the Bears last week. “I was afraid he was going to get hurt,” Ryan said. “I’d like to see them beat Detroit this Sunday. I’m not sure they can do it without him.”

Maury Buford’s 45.7-yard punting average ranks second in the league. His net average, 37.4, is tied for fifth. Buford has had more touchbacks than punts inside the 20, but he has compensated for that by having only 32 percent of his punts returned, the lowest figure in the league.

Bear league leaders are Jim McMahon in passing, Willie Gault in kickoff return average (29.5) and Kevin Butler in scoring (75 points). Walter Payton is tied for second with six rushing touchdowns and tied for third with eight altogether. Dennis McKinnon is third with seven

receiving touchdowns.

Payton has crept up to sixth in rushing yardage (652) and eighth in yards from scrimmage (869). In 18 games against Green Bay, he has run for at least 100 yards 12 times.

In the Bears’ last three games, the defense has given up 17 points and the offense has given up nine. The Bear defense has allowed only 46 points in the last five games.

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