Bears Give Kennedy Another Chance

The Bears' problems at defensive tackle continued and they are looking to plug the hole with former first-round draft pick Jimmy Kennedy.

Four-year veteran defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, a former first-round draft choice of the Rams, was signed to the active roster Tuesday. Kennedy started 30 games with the Rams, including all 16 in 2006, but he was traded in June to the Broncos, who released him before the season.

"I've known Jimmy for a while," said Bears coach Lovie Smith, who was in his final season as the Rams defensive coordinator the year Kennedy was the 12th overall pick. "We have a few injured players on the defensive line, so it's good to pick up a player like that this late in the year. As far as whether he'll play or not (Monday night), we'll let all that take care of itself a little bit later on in the week."

This could be the last chance for the 6-4, 325-pound Kennedy, who never played up to his draft status with the Rams.

"I've been through the grind, and I know what it takes," he said. "It's humbling once you get released and you get a chance to come back. I'm getting the chance to make the best of the opportunity. I'm looking forward to it. I'm trying to redeem myself. It's a pride thing with me, and I'm one of those guys that has been on the outside."

  • Anthony Adams, who started seven straight games at nose tackle before he was hurt vs. the Giants, didn't initially realize the extent of the injury to his right triceps.

    "I didn't know what happened," said Adams, who is still second among Bears defensive linemen with 49 tackles and tied for second on the team with four tackles for loss. "I thought it was just real sore, but I got an MRI, and the MRI said that it was torn, so I needed surgery (last Friday)."

    Adams, one of the most pleasant surprises on a disappointing team, will be in a sling for a month, and spend three-to-four months rehabilitating.

    "I'm all right," he said. "I'm in good spirits. You can't climb the mountain if it's smooth. You've got to have some rough spots in the mountain to climb it. So this is one of my rough spots."

    Adams played with the Bears' most recent acquisition, Kennedy, at Penn State and was drafted 57th overall in the same year (2003), 45 picks after Kennedy.

  • If he gets enough carries, the Bears' Adrian Peterson, running behind an ineffective offensive line, might actually make it to the line of scrimmage against the No. 1 run defense in the NFL.

    Then again, maybe not. The Bears' A.P. averaged 2.1 yards per carry against the Redskins last week with a long gain of seven yards. In his last five games, Peterson has averaged 2.4 yards per carry, and on 91 carries this season he has a long gain of 11 yards.

    He is an excellent receiver, though, with 41 catches already, and it might be in the Bears' best interest to abandon the run and get off the bus throwing.

  • Coach Lovie Smith was quick to deny that Kyle Orton's start at quarterback signaled the beginning of an evaluation period for next year's team.

    "Oh, no," Smith said. "That evaluation period stuff, I'm not ... we're into trying to win this week, period. Kyle gives us our best chance to win this week, no more than that. We'll take that approach with all of our players."

    Brian Griese has either started or been the backup for every game, except the week after he injured his shoulder against the Raiders, but Smith said he wanted a look at Orton.

    "Brian has done a lot of good things," Smith said, "but I just think it's just time to see exactly what Kyle can do."

    BY THE NUMBERS: 311 — Rushing yards allowed by the Bears in their last meeting with the Vikings, third worst in franchise history. Adrian Peterson's 224 rushing yards were the most the Bears have ever allowed to one player.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "You got three days to sit around and just think about how your season went down the drain (after) hoping that we would have a shot of making it to the playoffs and going back to the Super Bowl. But unfortunately we're not able to go to the playoffs, and right now we're playing for pride." — Devin Hester, on having the weekend off.

    NOTES

  • S Mike Doss was limited in practice Thursday because of a hamstring injury that kept him out of last Sunday's game against San Francisco.

  • CB Charles Gordon was limited in practice Thursday because of a quadriceps injury suffered against the 49ers.

  • OL Artis Hicks did not practice Thursday because of lower back problems. He was inactive for last Sunday's game.

  • WR Justin Surrency was signed to the Vikings' practice squad. Surrency, who lives in the Twin Cities, spent part of training camp with Minnesota. The Vikings had an open spot on the practice squad so no other roster move needed to be made.

  • S Tank Williams did not practice Thursday after missing a second consecutive game Sunday because of a sprained MCL.

  • For the Bears, CB Nate Vasher (groin) practiced on a limited basis but said his chances of playing for the first time in 11 weeks are "slim to none."

  • DT Tommie Harris (knee) did not practice Thursday, although he is expected to play Monday.

  • DT Darwin Wwalker (elbow) did not practice Thursday and is probably questionable at best for Monday night.

  • LB Hunter Hillenmeyer (shoulder) was back at practice Thursday after sitting out on Tuesday.

  • DL Israel Idonije, normally a backup swingman more comfortable at end, is expected to see increased playing time at the 3-technique Monday night, since he is the only healthy tackle on the roster who has played in a game this season.


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