Lions likely to get dose of Bears safety Chris Harris
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org October 7, 2011 11:08PM
Updated: November 16, 2011 11:15AM
Bears starting strong safety Chris Harris practiced on a limited basis Friday, but coach Lovie Smith expects him to play Monday against the Detroit Lions.
Harris has missed the Bears’ last three games with a hamstring injury. The Bears have dropped from fourth in the NFL in points allowed (12.0) to a tie for 20th (24.5) and from 22nd in yards allowed (386) to 31st (426) since his injury.
‘‘He had a good day today. We think he’s good to go,’’ Smith said. ‘‘We need him. We’ve missed him back there. We’ll need all our horses this week.’’
Brandon Meriweather, who has started the last three games at free safety, is likely to start there again Monday, with Major Wright backing up Harris.
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has caught two touchdown passes in all four games this season. Johnson has 21 receptions for 330 yards (15.7 yards per catch) and two touchdowns in eight games against the Bears.
He had 14 catches for 219 yards against them in the two meetings in 2009.
‘‘I think we have to be physical with him,’’ Harris said. ‘‘That’s one thing I do is try to be physical. He’s a big body [6-5, 236]. I can’t allow him free releases [off the line of scrimmage]. I want to try and throw off the timing routes.’’
Wootton out again
Defensive end Corey Wootton, whose season can’t seem to get started, missed practice with a hand injury Friday. He missed most of the preseason and the first three regular-season games with a knee injury. He played on special teams last week.