Chicago Bears

Bears' Taylor takes blame for mix-up

LAKE FOREST – Bears running back Chester Taylor took responsibility Tuesday for misunderstanding Lovie Smith’s comments about his future with the Bears.

“I just took the words the wrong way,” Taylor said. “It was just a mistake.”

A day earlier, Taylor left Halas Hall and missed practice because he thought Smith told him that he was not a part of the team’s plans going forward.

Instead, Smith apparently was talking specifically about the third preseason game, in which Taylor did not play despite an early calf injury to Marion Barber.

Taylor’s job security is tenuous, and there’s a good chance he could be released as part of Saturday’s final cuts. He could have had several extra days to sign with a new team if he had been released Monday.

“I don’t want to be released,” said Taylor, who signed a four-year, $12.5 million deal in 2010. “I like it here in Chicago. I’m going to continue playing and see what happens.”

Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said Taylor would play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns.

“Absolutely,” Martz said. “Yeah he’ll play.”

Connect the dots: The Bears could benefit from adding depth at defensive end, and 10th-year veteran Alex Brown could benefit from finding a new employer.

Brown, who played for the Bears from 2002-09, wrote on his Twitter page Tuesday that he would be released by the New Orleans Saints. He started 16 games for the Saints last season, finishing with two sacks and a forced fumble.

Bears coach Lovie Smith declined to speculate about whether Brown could return to Halas Hall, but he praised his former player.

“Alex Brown is a lifetime friend,” Smith said. “I was planning on pulling for him 15 games this season, but that’s a part of it.”

The Bears will visit the Saints in Week 2.

Bright side: Defensive end Corey Wootton said his right knee injury, which has kept him out of practice the past two weeks, could have been much worse.

“This is nothing compared to the injury I had in college,” said Wootton, who tore his right ACL with Northwestern in the 2008 Alamo Bowl. “It’s a ‘scope,’ so I was walking the day after surgery. It feels good.”

Wootton said he was not certain when he would be cleared to practice, but he has not ruled out being ready in time for the regular-season opener Sept. 11.

Bears bits: Besides Barber and Wootton, five other players sat out of Tuesday’s practice because of injuries: Anthony Adams, Lance Briggs, Desmond Clark, Kellen Davis and Sam Hurd.

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