Long snapper Patrick Mannelly could be out vs. Lions
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter November 6, 2013 9:21PM
Updated: November 7, 2013 12:02AM
The gaffes by the special teams can be blamed on ever-changing personnel and youthful mistakes. And now the Bears likely will be facing the Lions without their most experienced special-teamer.
Long snapper Patrick Mannelly, in his record 16th season with the Bears, is considered week-to-week with a right-calf injury suffered against the Packers. He left Lambeau Field in a walking boot.
The Bears agreed to terms with long snapper Jeremy Cain, who spent the last four seasons with the Jaguars before being cut in August.
Coach Marc Trestman was uncertain of Mannelly’s exact timetable but said, “I know it certainly doesn’t look good for this week.”
It’s a tough break for the special teams, which had a punt blocked by the Packers.
“Mannelly just continues to be one of those eighth wonders of the world; he just keeps going and keeps plugging and keeps having a level of excellence,” general manager Phil Emery said during the bye week.
Cain spent two seasons with the Bears as a linebacker in 2004 and 2005, splitting time between the practice squad and the active roster. He was released in 2006.
Defensive end Shea McClellin was named the NFC defensive player of the week for his three sacks against the Packers. It was the breakout game the Bears had been waiting for.
“There’s a little more light on the top now and a little more self-confidence that I hope that we all believe in Shea and . . . that he’ll bring out more of that in himself, as well, as he matures,” Trestman said. “It was a great sign for Shea and a great sign for our football team.”
Helping McClellin’s cause was Julius Peppers’ disruptive game (sack, interception) on the other side.
“[Peppers] was stout in the run game,” defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “He did a nice job getting his hands up and getting some batted balls. That interception was a classic.”
This and that
Challenging the third-down spot of tight end Martellus Bennett’s reception before going for it on fourth-and-one against the Packers was never an option, Trestman said.
“The guys upstairs said, ‘Don’t even challenge it. We’re not going to get the spot,’ ’’ Trestman said. “That doesn’t mean I couldn’t have or shouldn’t have. I just decided not to.”
◆ Tucker said he’ll remain on the sideline against the Lions after moving down from the press box against the Packers. Having rookie linebackers Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene starting was and is a key factor.
“Direct communication and that type of thing,” Tucker said. “You get the call in a little bit quicker.”