Another blow: Tucker hurt

Tribune staff reporter

The Bears' injury nightmare deepened Monday night when left guard Rex Tucker was carted off the field in the third quarter with a dislocated ankle. Tucker, a Pro Bowl alternate last season, could be lost for the season.

Tucker signed a six-year contract extension before the season and is considered one of the top young guards in the NFL. He won the starting job last year in training camp and has combined with center Olin Kreutz to give the Bears one of the NFL's best center-guard tandems.

He was replaced in the lineup by former Notre Dame lineman Mike Gandy, who filled in throughout the preseason when right guard Chris Villarrial was injured.

Receiver David Terrell was limping after he was brought down on a twisting tackle after a 52-yard completion in the closing minutes.

Unhappy returns

After Rabih Abdullah fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, Dez White replaced him as a kick returner. White, one of the fastest players on the Bears, was second in career kickoff return yards at Georgia Tech. Bears coaches said the reason was not the muffed kick but a desire to use White and his potential for a quick strike via a long return.

Uniform decision

Perhaps inspired by the dark-over-dark look the Buffalo Bills unveiled last week, the Bears came out in dark blue jerseys paired with dark blue pants for the first time in memory. Exactly whose idea it was is in dispute, but a number of players had been pushing for the change.

Getting tricky

The Bears tried a bit of subterfuge Monday but came up with nothing but a highlight curiosity for their efforts. On a fourth-and-4 play at the Green Bay 36 in the second quarter, seven Bears lined up at the left hash mark while former high school quarterback Marty Booker lined up behind long snapper Pat Mannelly, with linebacker Brian Urlacher as a tailback.

Mannelly snapped the ball to Booker, then circled out in a pass route. As Booker rolled to his right, he pitched the ball to Urlacher, who threw to Mannelly, an eligible receiver by virtue of being the "end" on the right side. But the pass was broken up and the Packers took over.

It's an honor

Bears owner Virginia McCaskey led a halftime ceremony honoring Hall of Fame defensive lineman Dan Hampton. The ceremony included a big-screen video of Hampton's play and a presentation to Hampton of a picture of him in his No. 99 jersey.

Sack master

Linebacker Rosevelt Colvin established a franchise record for consecutive games with a sack, eight, when he got Brett Favre late in the fourth quarter. The sack was Colvin's seventh of the season.

Colvin was shut out in the first half as the Bears managed no consistent pressure on Favre. The Bears' first sack by someone other than a linebacker came when Favre fumbled in the pocket in the third quarter and Keith Traylor fell on him to get credit for a sack.


Anthony Thomas took over the role of short-yardage back from Leon Johnson in the second quarter. Thomas converted fourth-and-1 and third-and-1 runs in succession after Johnson was stopped on third-and-1 in the first quarter.

By the numbers

The Bears have been on "Monday Night Football" 45 times, eighth most frequent behind Miami (65), Dallas (61), San Francisco (55), Oakland (54), Washington (51), Pittsburgh (48) and Denver (47) … Favre's 6-yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver in the second quarter was the eighth straight score allowed by the Bears' defense inside the 20-yard line … Through the first five weeks of the season there had been 24 300-yard passing games in the NFL, matching the 1994 figure for the highest total since 1970. Favre's evening, which included 287 yards in the first half, pushed that to a record 25 at this point of a season.

Stumbling in

The Bears' running game, the foundation of the offense and the persona the Bears want as a team, has stumbled badly with Thomas averaging a Curtis Enis-like 3 yards through the first four games and Monday's first half. That's down nearly a third from the 4.3 yards Thomas and the offensive line generated per run last season.

Ups and downs

The Packers, like the Bears, were wobbling through the first four games, with their three wins coming by a total of 12 points. They escaped with an overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons, then were blown out by the New Orleans Saints before eking out a win over Detroit and adding a narrow victory last week over Carolina.

Personnel department

St. Rita and Wisconsin alum Ahmad Merritt made his 2002 debut after breaking his hand in the preseason. John Davis made his third straight start at tight end and second in place of Fred Baxter, inactive with an ankle injury.

Sutherland's trouble

Former Purdue star Vinny Sutherland, who signed a two-year contract with the Bears last week, pleaded no contest to hit-and-run and drunken driving charges Monday.

Sutherland, a former 49ers kick return specialist, faces 75 days of community service and jail time as stipulated by the judge, Santa Clara (Calif.) County Deputy District Attorney Leigh Frazier said. Sutherland was arrested on felony charges on May 18 and charged with drunken driving after he drove his SUV into two light posts in Saratoga, Calif.

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