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3 things Bears are watching during Chargers prep

Monday night’s teams are a combined 4-11.

Still, Bears tackle Kyle Long called the game at the Chargers a big one.

“I’m really excited to see how this team responds to playing under the lights in front of the national, international stage,” he said. “All of our colleagues will be watching.”

As the Bears work to impress them, here are three things they’ll be watching:

• A decimated team. Chargers receiver Keenan Allen, the AFC’s receptions leader, was placed on Injured Reserve after lacerating his kidney Sunday. Two other Chargers were, too.

An astounding 12 left the Ravens game. Former Pro Bowlers Eric Weddle and former Notre Dame star Manti Te’o were inactive, too. Weddle (groin) won’t play safety Monday unless he can practice first.

• A red-hot Rivers. Quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown for at least 300 yards in each of his past five games, totaling 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. Yet the Chargers are 1-4.

He’s on pace to throw for 5,506 yards — about 800 more than his career high.

• A rookie in transition. The Chargers traded up to draft Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. He’s run 103 times for 382 yards, caught 18 balls for 93 yards, fumbled four times and has failed to score.

“He played the ‘I’ more often than not (in college), and we’re playing more in the shotgun with things,” coach Mike McCoy told reporters in San Diego. “But he’ll get better and better every week.”

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley
Email: pfinley@suntimes.com