New Bears receivers won’t be necessary, Lovie says
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org
*** BESTPIX *** Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears
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By late Sunday afternoon after their 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Bears only had three healthy receivers: Brandon Marshall, Eric Weems and Dane Sanzenbacher.
Devin Hester and Alshon Jeffery were inactive for the game, and Earl Bennett didn’t finish the game because of a concussion, prompting Marshall to plug a jobless friend.
‘‘There are guys that are hungry,’’ Marshall said. ‘‘You have Joe [Anderson], a guy on our practice squad, works really hard and he’s really hungry right now. Free agents that are hungry. Guys like Mike Sims-Walker, my best friend, my brother. So maybe he gets a shot.’’
Or maybe not.
Bears coach Lovie Smith shot down that idea, saying he’s hopeful that Hester and Jeffery might return for Sunday’s game at Minnesota.
‘‘We’re going to go with the guys that we have right now,’’ Smith said. ‘‘We’re going to get some guys back this week, and we’ll be fine. I think sometimes when you guys are asking about certain guys — I’ve got a lot of old buddies, too.
‘‘I think Brandon feels pretty good about the guys that we have here that he’s playing with.’’
Bennett, who scored a touchdown in the first quarter against the Seahawks, left with what a league source considered a “mild” concussion, casting hope that Bennett could play against the Vikings. However, the Bears have held all players with concussions out at least one game this season.
Weems ended up playing significant snaps because of the injuries, lining up on 36 of the Bears’ 61 offensive snaps (59 percent). He finished with one catch for 18 yards.
Sanzenbacher, meanwhile, had 16 snaps but wasn’t targeted for a pass.
It seemed fitting that one of the more notable catches was by running back Matt Forte, who split out wide in the third quarter and hauled in a slant pass for a 12-yard touchdown.
Sanzenbacher, who had 27 catches for 276 yards as an undrafted rookie last season, says he’s ready to step up.
‘‘We’re here for a reason, too,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s got to be next guy up for us. We’ve got to be ready to play.’’
Added Weems: ‘‘It’s a tough game. Guys get injuries all the time. Just got to move forward with it.’’