1985 Bears Coverage: Bears look to Fuller - again

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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 look to Fuller – again

Kevin Lamb

Originally published Nov. 15, 1985

Jim McMahon’s shoulder injury is looking worse than the Bears thought.

Coach Mike Ditka admitted that concern yesterday after McMahon didn’t practice. Ditka said Steve Fuller probably would start at quarterback Sunday against Dallas.

“There’s a possibility it could be more than a bruise,” Ditka said of McMahon’s shoulder. “It just seems like a bruise should have healed more by now, especially after last week without working and taking the treatment.”

Trainer Fred Caito called McMahon’s situation “on hold” and “day-to-day,” apparently meaning he is out indefinitely.

If the injury is worse than a bruise, Caito said, “It could be a lot of things.” He said team physician Clarence Fossier examined McMahon yesterday morning and ruled out both a shoulder separation and rotator cuff damage.

McMahon’s only pain in the throwing motion is on the follow-through, Ditka and Caito said. “He couldn’t cock his arm if his rotator cuff weren’t intact,” Caito said.

McMahon hasn’t thrown in practice drills for two weeks, although he threw on the sideline Wednesday. Ditka said McMahon’s condition hadn’t changed in a week.

“I don’t see how he’s going to play, but I said that before and he played,” Ditka said. “So I’m not going to put myself on the line. What I’m saying is he’s very questionable. I guess there’s always a chance.”

The chance apparently is the slim one that McMahon will feel fine when he tries to warm up Sunday. Fuller said he has prepared this week as though he will start.

“Same old thing,” Fuller said.

This is the fourth week in the last nine that McMahon’s status has been uncertain. Fuller started twice, including Sunday in the Bears’ 24-3 victory agaist Detroit.

McMahon first sprained his shoulder five weeks ago and aggravated it two weeks ago against Green Bay. Ditka and Caito have called the injury both a sprain and a bruise.

McMahon’s shoulder has not been X-rayed, Caito said, because “The doctor didn’t see it’s necessary.”

Fuller said the most important thing for the Bears’ passing game Sunday would be to control Dallas’ pass rush. “Whether they’re playing Dan Fouts or Steve Fuller,” he said, “They’re going to come at you with blitzes and try to force you into making a mistake.”

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