CHICAGO – Bears cornerback Tim Jennings can pick his guest list to the Pro Bowl in a few months.
For now, Jennings is happy picking off passes.
Jennings continued the best season of his career Sunday with a pair of interceptions in the first half against Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. That gave Jennings eight interceptions this season, the most in the NFL and more than twice as many as any of his teammates on the Bears.
Until this season, Jennings never seemed likely to appear in the Pro Bowl. He notched seven interceptions in 85 career games before the Bears re-signed him to a two-year deal during the offseason.
Now, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which Jennings isn’t selected to play alongside some of the best defensive players in the NFL. He rapidly is approaching the Bears’ single-season record of 10 interceptions, which Mark Carrier set in 1990.
Early exit: Bears rookie defensive end Shea McClellin suffered a concussion early in the first quarter and did not return to the game.
McClellin, who was the team’s first-round draft pick in April out of Boise State, had played well in a reserve role this season with 2˝ sacks in his first eight games. His absence created more playing time for Corey Wootton, who rotated along with Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije at defensive end.
It’s too soon to know whether McClellin will be available next week against the San Francisco 49ers, but his history of concussions as a college player should pose a concern to the Bears. McClellin reportedly suffered at least three concussions during his college career, including one in 2010 against Wyoming after which he changed the type of helmet he wore.
Triple digits: For the third consecutive game, the Bears’ defense allowed more than 100 rushing yards.
The Bears held opponents to less than 100 rushing yards in five of their first six games to help establish one of the league’s best run-stopping units. But in the past three weeks, the Bears have allowed 119 rushing yards against the Carolina Panthers, 159 rushing yards against the Tennessee Titans and 127 rushing yards against the Texans.
It came as no surprise that Arian Foster led the Texans’ ground attack. Foster carried the ball 29 times for 102 yards, including a 21-yard gain in the second quarter before Nick Roach pushed him out of bounds.
Bears bits: As expected, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (hand) missed his fourth consecutive game. … Amobi Okoye, Matt Toeaina and Cheta Ozougwu remained the odd men out on the defensive line. … Texans tight end Owen Daniels, a graduate of Naperville Central High School, did not play because of a hip injury.