Bears Add Insurance at Kicker

Lake Forest - With Doug Brien struggling to put the ball through the uprights, the team signed Tyler Jones to the practice squad on Tuesday.

Brien has converted one of four field goal attempts through three games. Although head coach Lovie Smith said the team wouldn't tryout kickers during the bye week, Jones' presence is a message to Brien to improve or he'll be looking for work.

The Bears struggled with the kicking game last season. Paul Edinger converted 62.5 percent (15 of 24) of his field goal attempts and Smith made a point to improve the position in the off-season.

Brien was supposed to be the answer. He entered the season as the tenth most accurate kicker in NFL history with an 81.1 percent conversion rate. However, at 34 his best days may be behind the 12-year veteran.

Jones originally signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent following April's draft. The Boise State product concluded his four-year career as a Lou Groza Award finalist for the top place kicker in the country. The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder ranked third in scoring in school history with 294 points.

With Brien and Nick Novak also on the roster, the Bears waived Jones following June OTAs. He spent the preseason with Cleveland and he recorded six points with the Browns before being waived.

Vacation from a Vacation
The Bears have lost their last three games after a week off.

"I don't know how to explain statistics like that," said defensive tackle Ian Scott. "In college that never had an impact on anything.

"It's different, no rhyme or reason. You've got to be able to play every week. They (the Browns) were off last week too so we've got two teams coming off a bye week eager to play, so it should be a good game."

The last time Chicago won following a bye was 2001, when the Bears beat the Vikings 17-10, which started a six-game winning streak.

Rested & Ready
Defensive tackle Tommie Harris plans to be a new man come Sunday; rejuvenated and healthier than he was for the first three games.

"I had a little nagging (right ankle) injury, and now I'm over that, and hopefully it reflects (in my play)." Harris said. "You go out there and you're playing on one wheel, but basically you play through injuries for your teammates. It was little nagging things that you don't say much about, but you'll see the difference."

Injury Report
The Bears should have a better idea of tight end Desmond Clark's status today. He left against Cincinnati with a neck strain and didn't practice last week.

C Olin Kreutz and G Ruben Brown sat out practice on Monday. It was considered a veteran's day off, a practice Smith used in training camp.

"Wednesday we'll be back on a regular routine and they'll be out there then," Smith said.


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