Marty Booker needed seven receptions against the Bucs to hit the century mark in caches for a second straight year. However, he caught only four balls leaving him with 97 on the year.
It was the 45th consecutive game Booker has made at least one reception, which ties him with Walter Payton for the third longest streak in team history. Bobby Engram holds the record with 57 games.
He entered the game tied with Matt Suhey for 6th on the team's all-time receptions list with 259. With four more now holds the honor by himself with 263 catches. Next up on the list is Neal Anderson with 302 and there is a chance if Booker has a similar year next season that he'll move into 2nd place ahead of Johnny Morris at 356. Walter Payton holds the team record with 492 receptions.
ON THE MEND
Bears quarterback Jim Miller is scheduled to have surgery on his injured right should on January 6. The rehabilitation process is expected to take three months and Miller should make a full recovery in time for next season.
"I would have done it awhile ago, but since I was on crutches (because of a leg injury) we wanted to wait (until I was able to walk on my own)."
TWO NEW BEARS
Quarterback Henry Burris and defensive end Joe Tafoya made their first career-career NFL starts against Tampa Bay, marking the 46th and 47th different starters for the Bears this season, which leads the league. In fact, only five Bears players have started each of the 16 games this season, James Williams, Marty Booker, Brian Urlacher, Jerry Azumah and Mike Green.
COMING AND GOING
R.W. McQuarters returned to the lineup for the first time in four games. The cornerback had missed time with a hip injury, but started for the seventh time this year.
In a game in which meant nothing to the Bears McQuarters said pride forced him on the field.
"I really had to much pride to just shut it down," McQuarters said. "I knew we couldn't make the playoffs, but there is nothing like going out there and still playing."
Although the dates have not been set, the Bears opponents for the 2003 season have been set. Both the Redskins and Saints finished third in their respective divisions meaning Chicago will travel to New Orleans and host Washington. Other opponents include road games at NFC North Division rivals Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota and non-conference games at Denver, Kansas City, San Francisco and Seattle. The Bears will play Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota at home in the NFC North Division games and will also host Arizona, Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego.