By Jonathan Okanes
Thursday, September 20th, 2007 at 9:48 pm in Mid-week.
Well, practice is over for the week and Rulon Davis, Matt Malele and Zack Follett don’t appear any closer to playing than they did at the start of the week. All three players didn’t practice at all this week. Davis is still on crutches and Malele is in a walking boot.
Coach Jeff Tedford still termed their status as day-to-day, but it’s pretty apparent none of the three are going to play Saturday against Arizona. When told that none of them look like they could possibly play, defensive coordinator Bob Gregory smiled and said “Miracles can happen.
Assuming they don’t play, expect Cody Jones to replace Malele at defensive tackle, Tad Smith to go for Davis at defensive end and Justin Moye to fill in for Follett at strongside linebacker.
Also, kicker Tom Schneider still is definitely out, and Tedford said it doesn’t look good for him returning next week at Oregon, either. Tedford said the quadriceps pull that Schneider suffered ended up being pretty severe.
While the loss of Malele hurts, the blow may be lessened a little because the Bears figure to use a lot of nickel coverage against Arizona’s spread offense. That means many times there will be just one defensive tackle on the field at one time. That duty should be spread between Jones, Mika Kane and Derrick Hill. Gregory also said that end Tyson Alualu may move inside at times, depending on the rotation.
The good news for the Bears is that DeSean Jackson appears to be healing fast from the sprained thumb that has been bothering him since the season-opener. Tedford said “DeSean had a great week of practice and is going great.”