Friday News & Notes

Lake Forest - Rex Tucker started his first regular-season game in more than two years Sunday, filling in at right guard in place of Mike Gandy, who was sidelined with a strained hamstring.

Tucker's last start was on Oct. 7, 2002, when he suffered a dislocated left ankle and fractured left fibula in the third quarter and missed the remainder of the season. He returned the following summer but in the final preseason game went down with a torn tendon in his right ankle and missed the entire 2003 season. During training camp this year, Tucker's right elbow was dislocated when it was struck from behind by running back Thomas Jones as he ran through the line during practice.

Toward the end of the first quarter, Tucker received supplemental oxygen when the offense was on the sideline, and he allowed two sacks by Bryant Young and was called for holding in the third quarter.

But he also helped the Bears rush for 120 yards. Tucker came off the field briefly at the end of the game when he feared he may have tweaked the elbow, but he is expected to play this week although it remains to be seen if he, Gandy or Steve Edwards will be the starter.

Edwards took reps with the first team offensive line on Thursday, while Gandy was downgraded from probable to questionable because of a hamstring injury.

Gandy started five of the first six games, missing Game 3 with the injury when he was spelled by Steve Edwards.

--Entering Week 8, the Bears had allowed just nine points in the first quarter all season, the fewest in the NFL. They were the only team that had not allowed a first-quarter touchdown. The defense still hasn't allowed a first-quarter touchdown although the 49ers scored 10 points Sunday night in the first 15 minutes. They scored a touchdown on Dwaine Carpenter's 80-yard fumble return and Todd Peterson's 48-yard field goal. Offensively, the Bears had scored just 10 first-quarter points, and only the Jaguars (7), Dolphins (7) and Texans (9) had scored fewer. But the Bears needed less than two minutes to pad their total when Craig Krenzel connected with Bernard Berrian on a 49-yard TD pass with 13:01 left in the first quarter.

--The Bears' victory Sunday night snapped a four-game losing streak and was just their 11th win in 37 games. They had also lost three straight at home.

BY THE NUMBERS: Thomas Jones, who had accounted for 701 yards from scrimmage through the first six games, 44.2 percent of the Bears' 1,585-yard total, suffered a sprained foot on the first possession Sunday night and did not return after carrying one time for 1 yard. So Anthony Thomas entered and rushed for 98 yards and caught four passes for 46 yards, accounting for 144 of the Bears' 254 total yards, or 56.7 percent.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I am concerned, and it's probably because of the stupid guy calling the plays." -- Bears offensive coordinator Terry Shea, when asked if he was concerned that Bears wideouts have just one TD catch combined this season.

Bear Report Top Stories