1985 Bears Coverage: Jim McMahon gets in full practice

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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.

Jim McMahon gets in full practice

Kevin Lamb

Originally published Sept. 25, 1985

Jim McMahon had a full practice yesterday and said his back was a little stiff, but “a lot better than” when he played Thursday. He said his leg infection was gone. “He threw his normal curveballs, knuckleballs and drops,” coach Mike Ditka said.

Walter Payton “looks good, too,” Ditka said after practice. As expected, wide receiver Dennis McKinnon and strong safety Dave Duerson sat out. McKinnon’s knee is on a partial practice schedule, and Duerson has a pulled groin muscle.

Guard Kurt Becker’s knee is “not as bad as we thought it was,” Ditka said. Tom Thayer will start in his place against Washington Sunday, but Ditka and trainer Fred Caito said it looked as though Becker would avoid surgery. Caito said his problem appeared to be

“trauma to the patellar tendon and the patella kneecap.”

McMahon is the NFL’s leading passer with a rating of 115.3. His average gain of 10.6 yards and his 8.6 percent touchdown rate (six in 70 attempts) are league highs.

The Bears lead the NFC in total offense, trailing only San Diego in the AFC. They’re fourth in NFL rushing, sixth in passing. Their defense is tied with the Rams for first against the run, but 23rd against the pass for an over-all ranking of 13th.

After playing with sore ribs for two games, Payton ranks eighth in NFL rushing with 221 yards, 172 behind league leader James Wilder of Tampa Bay. Payton has 5,144 yards since 1981, 44 more than Tony Dorsett. They’re followed by Ottis Anderson and two Redskins – George Rogers and John Riggins, who is 1,131 behind Payton.

McKinnon’s four touchdown catches lead the NFC. In the AFC, Seattle’s Daryl Turner has six, Pittsburgh’s Louis Lipps five and San Diego’s Eric Sievers four. . .Dexter Manley, the outspoken Redskin defensive end, leads the NFL with 5 1/2 sacks. . .If the Bears beat

Washington, they’ll be 4-0 for the first time since 1963, when they won the NFL championship.

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