Bears to face another third-stringer at QB
By neil hayes firstname.lastname@example.org
Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier confirmed Saturday that rookie quarterback Joe Webb will make his first career start Monday against the Bears.
The sixth-round pick from Alabama-Birmingham filled in for Tarvaris Jackson last Monday against the Giants, completing two of five passes for eight yards. He also ran once for 16 yards.
The Vikings drafted Webb to play wide receiver but moved him back to quarterback in training camp.
“This guy can move,” Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “He sees a crease, and he’ll take off. So we’ve got to make sure we’re disciplined in our rush lanes and overlap.”
It will be the third consecutive road game in which the Bears have faced a third-string quarterback. The Vikings also signed veteran Patrick Ramsey earlier in the week.
“You prepare for this game like you would for anyone else,” Bears cornerback Charles Tillman said. “Come kickoff time, they’re going to have a quarterback out there, and we have to be ready to play.
“Maybe he’s licking his chops saying, ‘I really want that Chicago Bears defense.’ ’’
Practice at NU
The Bears practiced at Northwestern’s outdoor facility Saturday to try to simulate conditions at TCF Bank Stadium, where the game against the Vikings will be played after the Metrodome roof collapsed.
The team ventured away from Halas Hall to give players a chance to see what traction will be like. Unlike most NFL stadiums, the University of Minnesota’s home field does not have heating coils to keep the artificial turf soft. Grounds crews have been heating the surface beneath a thermal tarp to thaw the field.
“It was good to go down there today to let the guys try different pairs of shoes,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “We haven’t played outside on artificial turf for a while. You’d have to say Baltimore last year was similar, but it will be a lot colder for this game.”
While Bears officials lauded Northwestern for its efforts to prepare the outdoor practice field, players are still unsure what to expect come game time.
“We’ll only get a feel for what it’s going to be like when we get there,” safety Danieal Manning said.
Cornerback Zack Bowman is ready in case Charles Tillman aggravates a foot injury that limited him during practice this week. Bowman, not nickel back D.J. Moore, who leads the team with four interceptions, will fill in for Tillman if he can’t play. Bowman began the season as a starter before being replaced by Tim Jennings.
“I’ve been taking some extra reps this week, but I’m sure Charles will be fine,” Bowman said.
Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) is questionable for the Bears. For the Vikings, quarterback Brett Favre (shoulder/ankle), guard Steve Hutchinson (thumb) and safety Tyrell Johnson are out. Defensive end Ray Edwards (ankle), running back Adrian Peterson (ankle/knee) and safety Jamarca Sanford (concussion) are questionable.