NFC North leaders survey division

LAKE FOREST – Kellen Davis and the rest of his Bears teammates moved into sole possession of first place this weekend from the comfort of their couches.

“That’s not bad,” Davis said Monday with a laugh. “You can’t beat that, really.”

Now, it’s up to the Bears to stay in first place.

The Bears (4-1) benefited from a loss by the Minnesota Vikings (4-2), who gave up more points to the Washington Redskins than they allowed in their previous three games combined. But the NFC North standings tightened because of impressive road wins by the Green Bay Packers (3-3) and Detroit Lions (2-3).

All told, teams in the NFC North have combined to go 13-9 for a .591 winning percentage. Only the NFC West (15-9, .625 winning percentage) has been better.

Bears coach Lovie Smith said his team needs to keep its focus.

“We had a chance to watch a lot of good football games,” Smith said. “Our division took a step up.

“As I told the team, none of that really matters to us. We like the position we’re in, but any week you have to be ready to go and play your best football.”

Watch and learn: Bears safety Chris Conte spent part of his weekend watching Fox’s broadcast of the Lions against the Philadelphia Eagles.

However, Conte said, it wasn’t as valuable as watching coaches’ tape of the game.

“It’s different because you don’t really get to see the whole field,” Conte said. “When I watch a game on regular television, I’m like a fan. I just want to see a good game and enjoy it.

“It’s not the same perspective as when you’re watching film. You don’t get to see quite as much. … It’s hard to tell route combinations or things that they’re really doing.”

New guy: The Bears signed tight end Brody Eldridge to the 53-man roster and released running back Kahlil Bell for the second time this season.

Eldridge, 25, appeared in 27 games in parts of two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts from 2010-11. He caught 14 passes for 84 yards, with his longest reception for 10 yards.

Eldridge spent this summer with the St. Louis Rams but was suspended for four games in July for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Bell appeared in two games this season and garnered 12 carries for 32 yards. He could not wrangle the team’s third running back job from Armando Allen, who scored on a 46-yard touchdown run in Week 5 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.