suntimes
PROPER 
Weather Updates

Time off will help Bears’ wounded defense

Updated: November 16, 2013 6:18AM



The Bears are looking at a break in the action. And they can use it.

The matchup Sunday against the Washington Redskins is the only time they’ll play in a 24-day span.

It’s a result of playing Thursday night against the New York Giants, having the bye week after the Redskins game and getting a Monday night game Nov. 4 against the Green Bay Packers.

“You don’t want this much time off,” cornerback Tim Jennings said. “But I think Coach [Marc Trestman] is having a great schedule with us and letting our bodies heal and recover. Personally, it’s coming at a great time. It’s kind of the middle of the season to get yourself regrouped.”

On defense, that’s especially true.

Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) and defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe) are dealing with nagging injuries, and linebacker D.J. Williams (torn pectoral tendon) suffered a season-ending injury against the Giants. Defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins, who tore anterior cruciate ligaments, already were out for the season.

But the Bears also see this as a good time for some fine-tuning. Getting extra time to prepare for the Redskins could prove beneficial, especially with rookie middle linebacker Jon Bostic getting the start.

“We know we have one game in 20 days, and [Monday] was a bonus in terms of getting some more work on fundamentals, and then we’ve got three days to get ready for a very important game,” Trestman said. “It’s next on the list, and then we’ll have some more time to evaluate our football team.”

Jennings called the matchup against the Redskins “a big game” because of the team’s schedule and health.

“We want to come out of here and be 5-2,” Jennings said. “I think if we can get this win and go into the bye and get guys back healthy, it would be a good feel for us.”

Chipping in

Fullback Tony Fiammetta is nine yards from reaching his career high in receiving yards after turning a short catch into a 30-yard gain against the Giants.

“It was my first time getting the ball this season, so I was trying to make the most of it,” he said. “It’s a good feeling.”

So is being a check-down option for quarterback Jay Cutler.

“Any way I can help the team and the more you can do in this league, the longer you stay around,” said Fiammetta, who had three catches for 39 yards in 2011 with the Dallas Cowboys. “It was a big play on that drive, and we ended up scoring, so I was glad I could help.”

This and that

Tillman, tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder) and linebacker James Anderson (back) didn’t practice Monday, but all are expected to be ready for the Redskins.

† The Bears signed defensive end Tracy Robertson to the practice squad, filling the spot left when defensive tackle Christian Tupou was promoted to the active roster.

Robertson (6-4, 300 pounds) went undrafted out of Baylor in 2012 but has spent time with the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. He has not appeared in a regular-season game.

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

Twitter: @adamjahns



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.