10 question marks as Bears get ready for Rams

SHARE 10 question marks as Bears get ready for Rams
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John Fox’s Bears are 3-5 this season. (AP)

The Edward Jones Dome turf caught on fire earlier this season. Reggie Bush plans to sue the city over the cement surrounding it, which caused him to slip and ended his season.

Matt Forte has to consider the surface when deciding whether to play.

“But,” he said, “you can say that Soldier Field’s grass isn’t always the best surface either.”

While we wonder if that marsh can ever catch on fire, here are 10 more question marks as the Bears prepare to play the Rams:

1. Why will the Bears see ghosts Sunday?

The team is conscious of handoffs to Rams receiver Tavon Austin, who has 25 carries for 207 yards. His “ghost” motions — in which the Rams fake end-arounds and fly sweeps — open up running lanes for Todd Gurley.

The key to defending it, linebacker Sam Acho said, is “trust your teammates and do your job.”

2. But will they punt to him?

Austin is one of eight players to return a punt for a touchdown this season.

“He’s a fun guy to watch,” special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers said, “when you’re not trying to tackle him.”

3. Should the Bears lobby to move to the AFC?

They’re 0-5 in the NFC — one of two teams with no conference wins this season — and 3-0 in the AFC. The others with perfect non-conference records: the Panthers, Broncos and Steelers, all playoff teams were the season to end today.

4. Adios, St. Louis?

For the second-straight week, the Bears are playing at a stadium whose team is looking to move to Los Angeles. The Bears are 3-4 in St. Louis since the Rams moved there.

5, Do the Bears rue not drafting Aaron Donald?

Probably. The defensive tackle went to the Rams one pick ahead of the Bears’ No. 14 selection in 2014, and has 13 ½ sacks in 24 career games.

“I heard a lot of rumors that there was an opportunity for me to go (to the Bears),” he said, “but you never know.”

6. Cancel the draft party?

After beating the Chargers, the Bears went from having a 17.7 percent chance of drafting No. 1 overall to a 5.62, per NumberFire. That’s seventh-highest.

7. Chances we’ll see a long field goal Sunday?

Good. Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein made a 61-yarder, outdoors, in Minnesota on Sunday. It was the longest in the NFL this season.

“There’s been several 60-yard attempts,” Rodgers said. “Not many with 11 minutes to go in the second quarter.”

8. So what’s that “drop eight defenders back into the end zone” defense called, anyway?

“If I told you,” coordinator Vic Fangio said, “I’d have to kill you.”

Fangio used it Monday to prevent a touchdown, even if it made for a shorter Chargers field goal before halftime.

“It’s kinda unorthodox, but that’s just the strategy Vic has,” cornerback Tracy Porter said. “That’s one of the things that makes him a great coordinator.”

9. How did Jeff Fisher’s son punk Marc Mariani?

Brandon Fisher, Mariani’s friend from their Montana days, was in the Titans draft room in 2010. After checking in with his buddy all day, Brandon — now the Rams’ defensive backs coach — called to say Mariani had been drafted by Tennessee.

“I went off on him,” Mariani said. “I said, ‘Bro, now is not the time.’ I’m calling him names, too many blanks to count, and then coach Fisher got on.

“I was on speakerphone in front of the whole organization.”

10. Are we worried about Wes Welker’s health?

The slot receiver signed with the Rams this week after suffering at least six concussions in his 12-year career.

“Whatever the doctors tell you you’re going to believe them,” said Adam Gase, his coordinator the past two seasons in Denver. “And when they say he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go.”

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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