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Team short at LB after Pisa's surgery 

Linebacker PisTinoisamounderwent “minor scope” his balky right knee hopes be back for playoffs. | Al Podgorski~Sun-Times

Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa underwent a “minor scope” on his balky right knee and hopes to be back for the playoffs. | Al Podgorski~Sun-Times

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Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa underwent what coach Lovie Smith described as a “minor scope” on his sore right knee. How long he will be sidelined remains to be seen, which could be a concern since backup linebacker Nick Roach also left Sunday’s 24-20 victory against the Lions with a hip injury and did not return.

“He needed a scope,” Smith said when asked if Tinoisamoa underwent the procedure so he would have time to recover before the playoffs. “No more than that. If a player needs to get something fixed, that’s all we take into consideration. He needed it done right now. He had been trying to play through the pain.”

Rod Wilson filled in for Tinoisamoa and Roach against the Lions and might continue to do so if neither linebacker is available for Sunday’s game against the Patriots at Soldier Field. It’s also possible Brian Iwuh could get some playing time. Iwuh filled in capably when weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs missed the Seahawks game earlier this season with an ankle injury.

Depending on the severity of the injuries, the Bears might also look to sign a linebacker for depth.

“Rod knows all three linebacker positions,” safety Chris Harris said. “Rod is a very good player. Me and Rod came in the same year in ’05. He’s a very smart football player. He knows what’s going on and is capable of playing all three positions. We’ll be fine.”

Not your time

D.J. Moore’s confidence is off the charts, but he avoids coming across as cocky. Take the nickelback’s answer to a question about what has changed for him since last season.

“I didn’t play last year,” he said, earnestly. “Sometimes you’ve just got to wait, and I had a little different attitude last year. I could’ve played last year, but sometimes you’ve got to wait when it’s not your time.”

When asked about his attitude last year, he said: “I was mad last year. I didn’t play and I knew I was good, so I was upset. You’ve just got to work hard and wait for the coach to put you out there.”

Moore has made a lot of big plays, and came up with another in the fourth quarter Sunday. On fourth-and-one from the Bears’ 41-yard line, Drew Stanton ran a bootleg before attempting to throw a short pass to receiver Nate Burleson. Moore wasn’t fooled, and the pass was incomplete.

The Bears took advantage of the short field while driving for the game-winning touchdown.

Dropping the Avril

Lions defensive end Cliff Avril had a career-high three sacks against the Bears while primarily matched up with rookie right tackle J’Marcus Webb.

“There are always a lot of factors involved with it,” Smith said. “But of course we don’t want to give up that many [sacks], and we’ll continue to get better along the offensive line. But you have to give Cliff his due also. Those three sacks were big.”

After the game, Webb said that he felt more comfortable as the game progressed.

“I felt like I got better and held my own and helped us get a much-needed win,” he said.

Playoffs start early

Harris said he and his teammates feel as if they are already in playoff mode, especially given the team’s difficult remaining schedule. The Bears will host the Patriots on Sunday before traveling to Minnesota to play the Vikings. They will then host the Jets before closing out the regular season in Green Bay.

“This is a three-time Super Bowl champion,” Harris said of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. “How can you not be pumped up to play him? Some people have this team being the best team in the NFL, so we get to see where we’re at and how good we actually are.”

Picking it up

With nine rushes and a season-high five catches, Chester Taylor had one of his busier games against the Lions. He also scored his second touchdown on a one-yard run.

“It felt real good, because the last couple of weeks have been kind of slow for me,” said Taylor, who grew up in the Detroit suburb of River Rouge and had 30 friends and family at the game. “I’m glad I picked it up.”



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