Rookie Romp

When Bears coach Dick Jauron said earlier this week he wanted the offense to get bigger "chunks" of yards, he didn't necessarily think it would come from rookies. Yet Bears rookies on Sunday continued a trend they established earlier this season of producing when called upon.

Running back Brock Forsey's 134 rushing yards were the most by a Bears back since Anthony Thomas gained 160 in the 2001 season-finale. Wide receiver Justin Gage had the first 100-yard receiving day by a Bear this season, and since Marty Booker and Dez White did it in the same game against Detroit last Nov. 24.

The only other time in history the Bears had rookies break 100 yards in receiving and rushing was Dec. 12, 1965 when Gale Sayers ran for 113 yards on nine carries and Jimmy Jones had three catches for 113 yards in the Bears' 61-20 win over the 49ers.

Forsey's big day in relief of pneumonia-stricken Anthony Thomas included six runs longer than 10 yards. He also made a 22-yard catch

"We could not stop Forsey," said Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis, whose team had been 12th against the run and eighth in yards allowed per carry. "They had a young running back come in with their starter out and have a career day.

"They kept running him and trying to get it downfield with the receivers to out-muscle our cornerbacks."

That was Gage's duty. He had four catches for 100 yards, including a 57-yard jump ball to set up a TD. He also had a touchdown of 33 yards called back due to offensive pass interference at the end of the first half.

"There was nothing you could argue about," Gage said of the play. "The refs make the decision and you've got to go with it."

OFFENSIVE LINE SHUFFLE
The health of the Bears' offensive line will be closely scrutinized heading into next Sunday's showdown in Green Bay.

A strained rib cage forced right guard Chris Villarrial to the sidelines in the early going and Terrence Metcalf played almost all game at that position. Then Aaron Gibson sprained his right knee and was on crutches after the game, causing the Bears to move left guard Steve Edwards to right tackle and bring Corbin Lacina in at left guard.

"I talked to Gibby, patted him on the shoulder, I told him my wife and I will keep him in our prayers and hope that it works out," offensive coordinator John Shoop said.

Shoop said he would lean toward starting Edwards at right tackle if Gibson is out next week.

"I played there all of training camp and it's something I've played all my life," Edwards said.

Shoop thought he would keep Edwards there next week if Gibson can't play, but wasn't certain.

"I know this: we'll have five guys next Sunday whenever we play, in the offensive line," Shoop said.

PUTTING HIS FOOT IN HIS MOUTH
Cardinals quarterback Jeff Blake had a difficult time moving the ball against the Bears' defense Sunday and an equally difficult time properly explaining why.

"I can't put my foot on what is going wrong," he said.


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