It was another dark day for the Bears’ Penn State alumni.
‘‘Sad and disgusting,” Âdefensive tackle Anthony Adams said.
‘‘Shocking … and unfortunate,” place-kicker Robbie Gould said.
Both players reacted to the story of the day – the firing of legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno on Wednesday night. The Penn State board of trustees voted to immediately fire Paterno, who was in his 46th year as head coach at Penn State, in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal centering on former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
‘‘[I have] mixed emotions because we all know what Paterno meant to the university, but this is disgusting,” Adams said. ‘‘Penn State always taught me to become a man first and a football player second. Being a student was why we were there and being a football player was kind of secondary. This right here is just … it’s sad.”
While disappointed it came to this point for his coach, Adams said it was fair to hold Paterno to the same high standard he set for his players.
‘‘Yeah, that’s what we were based off of ‘We are Penn State.’ We do things different,” Adams said. ‘‘We hold ourselves to a higher standard anyway. So yeah, it’s fair.”
Both players expressed sympathy for the victims as well as for their school, which has been stained to a degree that can’t yet be determined.
‘‘It’s shocking, because everything we did at Penn State was by the book,” Gould said. ‘‘We held everyone to a high standard and it’s tough to see guys go through this situation. I feel for the victims. And I hope the university can rebound … at this point it’s just about preventing this from happening again … [and] making sure they can rebuild the name of the university.”
Peppers, Hester sit
Defensive end Julius Peppers (ankle), wide receiver Devin Hester (ankle), defensive tackle Matt Toeaina (knee) and right tackle Gabe Carimi (knee) did not practice Thursday. ‘‘None of them seem to be serious,” coach Lovie Smith said. ‘‘Hopefully [Friday] we’ll have most of the guys back out there. When you have a quick turnaround like this it takes a little longer to come back.”
Rookie tight end Kyle Adams, who suffered a torn hamstring against the Eagles, was put on injured reserve. ‘‘He did a good job while he was available for us,” Smith said.
The short week
The Bears are seemingly at a disadvantage by playing on a short week, while the Lions are coming off a bye. But in the last nine years, teams that win on the road on Monday Night Football are 5-0 when they play a team coming off a bye the following Sunday.
‘‘It doesn’t matter. We don’t think about that,” Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said. ‘‘We didn’t practice yesterday. [We] still [got] two days off. I like this short week honestly because it’s one less day of practice. Our defense doesn’t change. We’ll put in a couple of blitzes maybe for them.”