Brien's Status Downgraded

Lake Forest - Kicker Doug Brien missed his third straight day of practice on Friday. He's now listed on the injury report as questionable with a back injury, which left the Bears to tryout five other kickers.

Among those that tried out at Halas Hall was Robbie Gould, who entered the NFL in April as an undrafted free agent with the Patriots. He connected 39 of 61 field goal attempts in four seasons at Penn State.

"We have options if (Brien) can't go," Smith said. "Robbie's a tryout guy right now. There's not a lot more to talk about beyond that."

When asked if he had signed with the team, Gould declined comment.

Tyler Jones was signed to the practice squad earlier in the week and is also an option. The knock on Jones is accuracy. His first kick in practice on Wednesday hit the upright.

"He had a better day (Thursday) than he did the previous day," Smith said. "(But) we want to look at all of the kickers that are available out there, so that's where we are right now.

"He does have as strong leg, but he hasn't kicked right now, so he's just an unknown. If you're talking about a kicker, you would like for them to have a good leg. At the very worst you'll feel good about kickoffs if you're in that situation. We'd like to have a guy with a strong leg that can make the field goals too."

Jones was put in the awkward position of watching his competition on Friday. He didn't kick as time was reserved for the kickers the team tried out.

Even if Brien is able to go, he's not been kicking at a high level. He's converted just one of four field goal attempts. The man Brien replaced is off to a great start for the Vikings. Paul Edinger has converted 7 of 8 attempts, but does have the benefit of kicking indoors at the Metrodome.

"We're disappointed with where we are at this phase of the season just like we're disappointed in our (1-2) record right now," Smith said. "But we have a lot of football left to go. Doug will get better like our team will.

"My glass is half full. I just have a feeling that we won't be talking a lot about the kicker position after this week."

The Bears style of football leads to close games. A good defense with an offense that has scored just one touchdown in each of the two loses means the kicking game is even that more important.

"That's why we're looking at all available guys," he said. "The kicker is very important to us and we'll have a guy that will kick well before it's all said and done. Doug has been in this situation before. He'll bounce back like the rest of our team will."

Injury Report
Safety Mike Brown practiced after sitting Wednesday and Thursday because of a hamstring injury. Tight end Desmond Clark (neck) has been removed from the injury report after practicing three straight days.


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