Stuck in the Station

Against <!--Default For Minnesota is to ignore-->Minnesota <!--Default NodeId For Anthony Thomas is 741795,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:741795]>Anthony Thomas</A> briefly looked like the back that rushed for yards than any other Bear rookie. He broke a 34-yard run and then the Bears forgot to use him the rest of the game.

Despite stating over and over that the Bears are committed to the run, the team abandoned their rushing attack against the Vikings. Thomas started the game with six carries for 42 yards and then saw the ball just four more times for 11 yards. The bulk of his yards came on a 34-yard burst, but without getting carries on a consistent basis it's hard to establish a rhythm.

"Clearly we need to run the ball, but in order to run it you have to stay on field," Coach Dick Jauron said. "You know we ran the ball okay you know we ran the ball pretty well as you saw. Train we thought was the hot hand so we left him in there."

While Thomas got the majority of the Bears 17 rushing attempts he still went nearly two quarters without touching the ball.

Rabih Abdullah had one carry, but Adrian Peterson didn't carry the ball a single time. Jauron also awarded Abdullah the third down back role, which further limits Thomas' opportunities to touch the ball.

"As we've said all along our plan is to run a number of backs, but if one of them looks like he's getting warmed up and doing a good job we'll leave him in," Jauron said.

The fact that the Bears quickly trailed 17-3 forced the Bears to abandon their game plan of establishing the ground game couple with Kordell Stewart struggling with his accuracy, the team ran just 43 plays.

"You want to run 70, 80 plays a game ideally," Jauron said. "You've got to stay out of those third down and longs."

The Bears released linebacker-defensive end Chris Demaree from the practice squad and signed linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer; a fifth-round draft pick of Green Bay's this last April.

Hillenmeyer made the Packers' opening day roster, but was waived the following week. He played collegiate ball at Vanderbilt.

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