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Thumb that required surgery can’t keep Blake Costanzo down

Chicago Bears linebacker Blake Costanzo (52) is field first half exhibitiseasopener against Denver Broncos Thursday August 9 2012 Soldier Field

Chicago Bears linebacker Blake Costanzo (52) is on the field in the first half of the exhibition season opener against the Denver Broncos Thursday August 9, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 17, 2012 6:22AM

In the eyes of reserve linebacker Blake Costanzo, “a little thumb” injury wasn’t about to prevent him from handling his duties on the Bears’ special teams.

“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Costanzo said. “We’re football players. I’m not going to let a little thumb hold me back from doing what I love to do, especially for my teammates and stuff. I didn’t really think about it too much.”

As it turned out, that “little thumb” injury in his right hand required surgery last week to repair “a snapped ligament” as special teams coach Dave Toub put it.

Making his first comments since his surgery, Costanzo said he suffered the injury against the St. Louis Rams in Week 3, leaving him to play through it against the Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars. Some aspects were tougher than others.

“Sometimes you need your thumb to grab some guys and all that,” said Costanzo, who has four tackles on special teams. “I’ve played with some bad hands before, so I just got used to it. It’s just different techniques you’ve got to use. But pretty much, I just tried to go in there like there was nothing wrong for me.”

Costanzo, who signed a two-year deal with the Bears, should play against the Detroit Lions next Monday.

“I got fixed and now I’ll be ready to go,” said Costanzo, who was held out of practice Monday. “I’m good. I’m feeling great. I can’t wait to start playing.”

A new fullback?

Tight end Brody Eldridge is thankful for the second chance the Bears gave him. Eldridge signed and practiced Monday with the Bears as running back Kahlil Bell was waived.

Eldridge was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2010, but was most recently with the Rams. In July, he was released by them upon being suspended for the first four games after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

“It’s great to get another opportunity to put that behind me and move on,” said the 6-5, 265-pound Eldridge, who was used primarily a blocking tight end by the Colts.

With Eldridge on board, the Bears have four tight ends, but he said he can play fullback too.

“In college [at Oklahoma], I did fullback quite a bit,” he said. “I haven’t since then, but I believe in my ability to do that.”

Looking good

Wide receiver Earl Bennett (left hand) and fullback Evan Rodriguez (knee) practiced Monday. Both are expected to be active against the Lions after sitting out the previous two games.

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