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Bears backup punter Ryan Quigley has things covered

Updated: October 2, 2012 6:12AM



You won’t see most teams getting excited about a rookie punter, but not many NFL teams are leaning on one like the Bears have been leaning on Ryan Quigley.

With Adam Podlesh battling an injured hip flexor on his non-punting leg and with some in the organization still not sold that he’ll be ready to start the season next Sunday, Quigley has been stellar in the last two preseason games.

On Thursday, he downed his first two punts inside the Cleveland Browns’ 10-yard line, downed another inside the 20, then hit the fourth 45 yards. He also recovered a fumble when Armando Allen stripped the ball on a punt return in the fourth quarter.

Two weeks ago against the New York Giants, he punted seven times, averaging 43.6 yards, including a 50-yarder.

‘‘Yeah, right now, he’s our guy,’’ special-teams coordinator Dave Toub said. ‘‘He’s our punter, the only one we have left. We’re counting on him.’’

Price is right

Defensive tackle Brian Price is starting to show some play-making ability. If he could just stay on the field.

A head injury forced him out of the preseason finale Thursday, but Price indicated he would be fine.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. “We’ve seen him improve as a ballplayer, and that normally helps your mental state.’’

Price has had a troubled past, and the Bears knew he would need a strong locker room to lean on. So far, so good.

‘‘We’re there for all our players, Brian and anyone else,’’ Smith said. ‘‘It’s a great group of teammates, and I’m glad Brian is seeing that.’’



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