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Kelvin Hayden hopes to be ‘phenomenal’ fill-in for Tim Jennings

With Tim Jennings injured Bears cornerback KelvHayden (24) will move instarting lineup. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

With Tim Jennings injured, Bears cornerback Kelvin Hayden (24) will move into the starting lineup. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 7, 2013 1:30PM



Defensive back Kelvin Hayden uses one word to describe cornerback Tim Jennings’ season: phenomenal.

It’ll likely be up to Hayden to make up for the loss of Jennings, who hurt his right shoulder making a tackle against the Seahawks. Jennings didn’t practice Wednesday and is likely out for the Bears’ rematch Sunday against the Vikings.

“I personally got a chance to see Tim when he first came in as a rookie [with the Colts] and have seen him grow,” Hayden said. “He deserves all the [credit] he’s gotten.

“Unfortunately, he’s going to be sitting for a little while. I don’t know how long. Hopefully, he can get back as fast as he can so we can be the full defense that we want to be.”

Hayden surpassed D.J. Moore as the Bears’ starting nickelback weeks ago. But he’s also their top reserve at cornerback. When Charles Tillman suffered an ankle injury against the Vikings on Nov. 25, Hayden played in his place.

Like Tillman, Jennings is having an All-Pro season with a league-best eight interceptions.

“You want to prepare as if you’re a starter,” said Hayden, a former starter with the Colts. “This week, potentially I am a starter.”

Bears vs. Allen

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said he isn’t expecting any retribution for his season-ending hit on guard Lance Louis (torn anterior cruciate ligament).

“There’s [no reason] to retaliate,” said Allen, who was fined $21,000 for the hit. “It wasn’t malicious. It wasn’t done out of ill will. We had an interception. A guy was running toward our guy to make a tackle, and I threw a block. Again, my condolences are to him. The intent is never to hurt anybody.”

The rundown

Receivers Devin Hester (concussion) and Alshon Jeffery (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis.

“We were kind of beat up at the position,” receiver Brandon Marshall said. “But now hopefully we have Alshon and Hester back.”

◆ Offensive coordinator Mike Tice doesn’t anticipate changing his line of J’Marcus Webb, Edwin Williams, Roberto Garza, Gabe Carimi and Jonathan Scott. “We felt like the line played solid football,” Tice said.

◆ After missing most of the Seahawks game with the flu, safety Chris Conte practiced and said he was feeling better afterward.

◆ Marshall (coach’s decision), receiver Earl Bennett (concussion), running back Michael Bush (bruised ribs) and defensive tackle Stephen Paea (foot) sat out practice.

◆ The Vikings put top receiver Percy Harvin (sprained ankle) on injured reserve.



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