10 Bears questions: on injuries, captains, uni colors and more
Bears receiver Kevin White is questionable with an injury Sunday — but then again, aren’t we all?
The NFL’s new wording has made the designation all-but-worthless. Last month, the league eliminated the “probable” designation and changed definitions. “Questionable” used to mean players had a 50/50 chance of playing; now it simply means there’s a question if they will. “Doubtful,” which used to mean 25 percent, now means unlikely.
While we wonder if the NFL has reverted to John Fox’s injury paranoia, here are 10 Bears questions as they prepare for the Texans on Sunday:
1. So who’s playing?
White, whose hamstring injured was first announced Thursday, is one of nine questionable Bears: guard Kyle Long (shoulder), cornerbacks Kyle Fuller (knee) and Bryce Callahan (groin), receivers Josh Bellamy (shoulder) and Deonte Thompson (knee/ankle), safety Deon Bush (hamstring), fullback Paul Lasike (wrist) and defensive end Cornelius Washington (ankle/knee).
By contrast, the Texans have no one questionable.
Fox was asked if he was hesitant to ask White, who missed last year with leg surgery, to push through being uncomfortable.
“You play this game, it can be uncomfortable,” he said. “There’s people trying to take your head off.”
2. Who are the captains?
The Bears announced them Friday: quarterback Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery on offense; linebackers Pernell McPhee and Danny Trevathan on defense; and Sherrick McManis on special teams. Fox will name a sixth captain each week.
3. Want to hear the offseason’s most unbelievable Bears story?
Defensive end Greg Scruggs was working out at Halas Hall in May when defensive line coach Jay Rodgers told him he was moving to tight end. Scruggs didn’t argue.
“Call it arrogance or whatever it may be, but I believe I can do anything,” said Scruggs, who played a few snaps at tight end his senior year at Louisville.
Amazingly, he made the team as a tight end. Sunday, in his first game ever as an offensive player, he’ll be asked to help block J.J. Watt.
“It’s going to be a task, but it’s a task we’re willing to take on headfirst — figuratively and literally,” Scruggs said.
4. How will the Bears stop DeAndre Hopkins?
By trying to box him out. Vic Fangio said the Texans receiver “was probably a good rebounder in his basketball days,” noting his ability to track and catch balls while they hang in the air.
“When you get in those positions to get the 50/50 balls, just working to fight and compete,” said Fuller, who faced Hopkins in college.
5. Who’s the best center inside Halas Hall?
Forget Cody Whitehair or Ted Larsen. Kevin Mawae, the retired seven-time all-pro, has been hired as an offensive assistant after serving as an intern during training camp, Fox said this week.
6. When do the Bears get to finally wear white?
Next month. The Texans are in white Sunday (technically “liberty white” jerseys with “deep steel blue” and “battle red” accents) and the Cowboys always wear white at home.
Amazingly, the Bears will wear white only four times all season — Week 5 at the Colts, Week 11 at the New York Giants, Week 14 at Detroit and Week 17 at the Vikings.
They’ll don “Color Rush” uniforms — navy jersey with navy pants, perhaps? — at the Packers.
7. Road trip?
Sunday marks the first time the Bears have opened the season on the road since 2009. They lost in Green Bay, 21-15.
8. What do the Bears know about Brock Osweiler?
A lot, but a little. Fox coached him for three years in Denver and the Bears faced him last season. After signing a $72 million deal with the Texans, though, Osweiler played only 70 exhibition snaps in exhibitions.
Fangio said he was athletic and, at 6-8, hard to bring down.
“I think he’s a talented quarterback,” Fangio said. “And they obviously did, too, with the amount of money they gave him.”
9. Wanna bet?
Bovada has set the over/under on Cutler’s season performance at 20 ½ touchdown passes, 13 ½ interceptions and 3,600 passing yards. Others include Jeffery (1,150 receiving yards and 7 ½ scores), White (650 and four) and running back Jeremy Langford (750 rushing yards and 6 ½ touchdowns).
10. When’s the last time Adrian Amos saw Bill O’Brien?
They shared an elevator two years ago at the Senior Bowl. Before leaving for the Texans, O’Brien coached Amos during his sophomore and junior seasons at Penn State.
Amos said he was always clear about his desire to coach in the NFL.
“He was up front about it,” he said. “I was cool.”