Bears Release Colombo

Lake Forest –Jerry Angelo used his first draft pick as general manger on Marc Colombo, but a knee injury threatened to end a once promising future. His career took another detour on Tuesday, when the Bears released the tackle.

Colombo started five games as a rookie before suffering a dislocated kneecap. Complications from multiple surgeries cost him nearly two years away from the game.

The 29th overall pick in the 2002 draft, made his return last year against the Tennessee Titans and blocked a field goal at the end of regulation that allowed the Bears to win the game in overtime.

The six-foot-8, 317-pounder started the last two games of the season at left tackle, but was largely ineffective.

Although Colombo won a training camp competition with Rob Droege for the third tackle role, neither played particularly well in the preseason.

The Bears used the open roster spot to sign offensive tackle John St. Clair. A third-round draft choice of the St. Louis Rams in 2000, St. Clair has started 30 of 46 career games played during five seasons in the NFL. He started 14 games at right tackle in 2004 in his first season with Miami before being waived by the Dolphins last week.

After staring a career-high 16 games for the Rams in 2002, he played a reserve role in 2003. The 6-6, 318-pounder was inactive for every game during his first two NFL seasons. The University of Virginia product blocked for Thomas Jones in college.

More Change on the Way?
As the Bears continue to tweak the roster, Bobby Wade could be the next name to hit the waiver wire. The receiver was inactive in the season opener despite being the team's leading receiver a year ago.

"That's a decision that's made by Lovie and the guys upstairs," Wade said of his chances for playing against Detroit. "Either way I'm ready to go though."

Wade and Rashied Davis were being considered for the punt return role, but the coaching staff went with Bernard Berrian against Washington. He averaged negative 1.5 yards on three attempts.

If Wade is unable to secure the punt return role, he may not offer enough as a receiver to get on the field.

"Bobby, really if you look at any of our backup positions right now, special teams are a big part of it," said head coach Smith. "And that's the determining factor on who dresses and who doesn't."

The punt return job will be reevaluated throughout the week with Wade, Davis and Berrian all being considered.

Job Opening
Mike Brown will start at one of the two safety spots, but who will line up at the other spot is unclear. Mike Green was benched in the second half against the Redskins after a pass interference penalty negated Nathan Vasher's second interception and a 55-yard return. The 36-yard penalty led to a Washington field goal.

Todd Johnson finished the game in place of Green. He started 10 games last year, but was also briefly demoted toward the end of the season.

"It was definitely tough, it's not what you want to happen, but I still learned from it and move on," Johnson said of his demotion.


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