CHICAGO – As the Bears’ losses start to add up, so do injuries to key players.
Veteran starters Tim Jennings, Brian Urlacher, Chris Conte and Earl Bennett each left Soldier Field in worse shape than when they arrived Sunday after a 23-17 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks. A shoulder injury sidelined Jennings, while injuries to Urlacher (hamstring), Conte (illness) and Bennett (concussion) also tested the Bears’ depth.
Although Bears coach Lovie Smith did not indicate how long any of his players might be out, teammates acknowledged that injuries were starting to take a toll.
“We’re concerned,” Bears defensive end Julius Peppers said. “We need everybody on the field. But we’ve just got to get everybody healthy, and we’ve got to have some guys on the second line step up.”
Jennings’ injury was the most obvious. On the fifth play of overtime, he tried to tackle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson (6-foot-1, 240 pounds) in front of the Bears’ sideline but absorbed the brunt of the hit on his shoulder.
Teammate Kelvin Hayden had an up-close view of the hit.
“It was a rough one,” Hayden said. “But that’s the name of the game, right? But I’m pretty sure Tim will be fine. Hopefully, he’ll be ready for next week.”
Meanwhile, Conte told teammate Major Wright that he was not feeling well in the first quarter.
“He said he felt dizzy, he felt light-headed, he was throwing up,” Wright said. “I was like, ‘Wow.’ I didn’t know.”
Patchwork line: A new-look offensive line earned lukewarm praise from Jay Cutler despite allowing only one sack against the Seahawks’ fifth-ranked total defense.
“They played OK,” Cutler said. “They could still anchor a little better. But they are giving me time. In a man-to-man game like that, we just need a split second to get rid of the ball.”
Cutler lost for the first time in his career when posting a passer rating of more than 100. He entered Sunday with a 25-0 record when his passer rating was more than 100.
Special honor: Marian Central quarterback Chris Streveler and Dundee-Crown football coach Vito Andriola were among the halftime honorees Sunday. The Bears name a High School Player of the Week and a High School Coach of the Week for each of the nine weeks of the regular season.
Streveler was a Player of the Week and Andriola was a Coach of the Week. Streveler led the Hurricanes to an 11-1 record and the Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division title. He will attend Minnesota on a football scholarship.
Andriola was honored after he got the Chargers off to a 3-1 start. D-C had lost 26 consecutive games coming into the season. Andriola also attended a chalk talk during the week at Halas Hall with Bears coach Lovie Smith.