Bears notebook

FOXBORO, Mass. _ It was supposed to be a homecoming for second-year tackle <!--Default NodeId For Marc Colombo is 722208,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722208]>Marc Colombo</A> when the Bears came to his native Boston for their preseason finale with the <!--Default NodeId For New England Patriots is 93,2003--><A HREF=>New England Patriots</A>.

Instead, Wednesday marked the day Colombo found out he won't be playing for the Bears until at least the sixth game of this season. The Bears placed Colombo on the active physically unable to perform (PUP) due to his inability to come back from April arthroscopic knee surgery.

"It's probably erring on the side of caution. Why throw him back in there?" Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said.

Colombo now will not be able to practice with the team until after the sixth week of the season. The Bears would be preparing to play Seattle the week of Oct. 13 when he is eligible to return.

This way, Colombo does not count against their final 53-man roster.

"We wanted to make sure that he gets as much time as he needs," Angelo said.

Angelo also said the decision made sense because Colombo hasn't yet practiced and will need a lot of time to get ready even when he is give medical clearance to return.

The fact reserve guard-tackle Terrence Metcalf had a broken finger also had an impact on the decision. The Bears couldn't afford two sidelined linemen counting against their active roster at the beginning of the season.

"The key is when you lose two guys at the same position, because I was somewhat treating Metcalf a little bit like a tackle -- that he could be a backup tackle," Angelo said. "That was really the thing that hung us up."

Metcalf is due to have his broken finger re-evaluated in nine to 13 days and could be available after that.

In the meantime, Angelo will look at waiver wires. He isn't expecting to find much.

"I just don't know where you get tackles," he said. "Nobody's cutting a tackle. You just don't see it. You've got to develop tackles or you've got to draft tackles."

The Bears still have Steve Edwards as a backup tackle. Angelo said he's comfortable with Edwards backing up Aaron Gibson on the right side.

"He can get a little bit better on the left side," Angelo said. "We'll be OK."

Rookie safety Cameron Worrell could be the beneficiary of Todd Johnson's poor luck.

Worrell is the undrafted rookie from Fresno State who has been delivering Doug Plank-style hits in the defensive backfield and on special teams in practices and preseason games. He appeared a likely final cut victim or practice squad player because Johnson was a fourth-round draft pick out of Florida who presumably would make the cut.

But Johnson broke his jaw two weeks ago and Angelo said it's possible Johnson could wind up on the injured reserve list or PUP list. The jaw injury is expected to keep Johnson sidelined six to eight weeks or longer.

The Bears filled the roster spot caused by Colombo's placement on the PUP list by claiming former Oakland Raiders cornerback Brock Williams off Waivers.

The Notre Dame product had originally been a third-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2001.

The Bears came into Wednesday's final preseason game against New England ranked next to last in preseason defense at 353.3 yards a game. Then they gave up 28 yards more than their average.

Although preseason stats are largely irrelevant, their play in first halves with starters and backups on the field was responsible for the largest chunk of those yards.

The Bears had been worse against the run than the pass. They were next to last against the run at 133.7 yards a game. Only Cleveland (142.7) has been worse. They were 28th against the pass (219.7).

Coach Dick Jauron was more concerned about consistency on defense than statistics.

"I would say consistent play in all areas -- I wouldn't say there is one (area) in particular," Jauron said. "The last couple games we get them in situations that you really like defensively, and let them off the hook -- long yardage situations. I'd like to see us convert those.

"The good news is we get them into those situations, which is hard to do. I would say we just need to be more consistent on defense."

New England failed to convert its first third-and-long Wednesday, a third-and-10 catch by David Patten that R.W. McQuarters limited to a 7-yarder.

David Terrell didn't make a touchdown catch and celebrate in an unusual manner, but he had something for New England fans just the same.

He caught a third-and-5 pass for 18 yards and a first down to set up Marty Booker's 3-yard TD catch in the first quarter.

After Booker's catch, Terrell turned toward the crowd in the end zone and signaled touchdown, holding up his arms as he backpedaled all the way off the field.

Predictably, he drew a large round of boos.

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