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Bears notebook: With Hester out, Bears may lean more on Weems

SPECIAL TEAMS: B 
The Vikes never threatened after Adam Podlesh’s perfectly executed two-point conversioff fake PAT thgave Bears an 18-3 lead.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B  The Vikes never threatened after Adam Podlesh’s perfectly executed two-point conversion off a fake PAT that gave the Bears an 18-3 lead. Podlesh also averaged 43.3 net yards.

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Updated: January 1, 2013 6:36AM



Things don’t sound too encouraging on the Devin Hester front.

Officially, Hester has been ruled out for the game Sunday against the Seattle Sea-hawks with a concussion. On top of that, the Bears have been more forthcoming about Hester’s status than Jay Cutler’s when he suffered his concussion.

“[It will] be awhile still,” coach Lovie Smith said Thursday after Hester missed his second consecutive practice.

“We’ll see,” special-teams coach Dave Toub said. “I just don’t know.”

Like last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, veteran Eric Weems should have a more prominent role on special teams and on offense with Hester out.

Toub said there definitely are differences between them in the return game.

“[Weems is] a little bit more north-south,” Toub said. “A little bit more . . . like Leon [Washington]. A lot more north and south, good vision, strong up-the-field player, whereas Devin’s going to try to make you miss, run around and a lot of times get to the edge.”

Weems returned three kickoffs against the Vikings for 65 yards. Before that, Weems, a former Pro Bowler, had only two kickoff returns this season.

“It was good to get him in last week [to] kind of knock the rust off,” Toub said. “I expect him to be a lot better this week. I expect him to take a little bit more of a jump and hit the ball a bit faster up the field. He’s excited about the opportunities he’s going to get this week.”

Time to talk

There are no tricks to it. The Bears’ patchwork offensive line plans to devote ample time at practice and in the film room this week to work on their keys and communication. Right tackle Jonathan Scott said the line has been going through scenarios and asking each other questions.

“In any relationship — I’m pretty sure I see rings on fingers [with the media] — you’ve got to communicate,” Scott said. “If you don’t, it’s not going to work. “

Center Robert Garza said he doesn’t envision any communication problems despite Edwin Williams and Gabe Carimi being the Bears’ starting guards for the first time this season.

“We’re consistently talking,” Garza said. “With the starters, everybody is constantly talking every single play.”

The injury list

Cornerback Charles Tillman (ankle) and linebacker Lance Briggs (ankle) practiced on a limited basis after sitting out a day earlier. Both are expected to play.

“I’m feeling good,” Briggs said. “[I’m] getting better every day — modern medicine.”

Running back Matt Forte (ankle) was limited but practiced for the second consecutive day. Tight end Kellen Davis (ankle) also took part on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday. Guard Chris Spencer (sprained knee) was ruled out for Sunday.



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