Bears waive Sanzenbacher: A bad sign for Conte, Forte?

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Bears waive Sanzenbacher: A bad sign for Conte, Forte?

The best indication of how severe a particular injury might be is usually in the steps the team takes in the hours after it occurs. So when the Bears released wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher on Monday after injuries to running back Matt Forte and safety Chris Conte, the focus went right to concern over whether one or both of those starters would be lost for the Detroit Lions game next Sunday.
Were evaluating still all of the players, coach Lovie Smith said. So we dont have any more information from yesterday.
Conte pulled a hamstring in the Bears 28-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals and was replaced by Anthony Walters. Conte went on injured reserve for the final two games last season with an ankle injury and could finish there again depending upon the true extent of injury.
Hamstrings typically do not heal in a week, as tackle Jonathan Scott and linebacker Brian Urlacher have shown in recent weeks.
The fact that Sanzenbacher was waived mildly suggests that the Bears may be leaning toward adding a player on offense to shore up running back. Harvey Unga is on the practice squad if Fortes injured right ankle does not respond quickly to treatment.
Whenever you have a limited amount of guys time this time of year anyways, and when you have a player that goes down, it makes you shuffle things, coach Lovie Smith said. Hopefully, Matt will be OK. And a lot of these were talking about, hopefully their injuries arent as bad as maybe as most of us think.

Long-snapper Patrick Mannelly already is long-tenured Patrick Mannelly. He is in his 15th season with the Bears and already has played in more career games (230) than any player in franchise history.
Now he can plan on adding to his record after the Bears agreed with him on a one-year extension through the 2013 season. It is the fourth extension the Bears have done with Mannelly, who was the Bears sixth-round pick in the 1998 draft, the last under Dave Wannstedt.
Mannelly most recently signed a six-year extension in 2005 and a two-year add-on on Dec. 27, 2010.

Three Bears necessities to lay a broom on the Lions

Three Bears necessities to lay a broom on the Lions

If the Lions beat the Bears in Detroit, it'd be a recent rarity. No, not the Bears losing, but in this long series that reaches 175 games Sunday. One team or the other has swept the season series 11 of the last 12 years (the lone exception being 2011). The 17-14 Bears win Oct. 2 ended a string of six consecutive losses to their division rivals. At that point, both clubs were 1-3. The Bears have remained at that pace since, while the Lions have taken off, winning seven of eight.

It was Brian Hoyer's steady hand that guided that win, while a Vic Fangio defense missing Eddie Goldman, Pernell McPhee and Danny Trevathan forced Matthew Stafford into easily his worst game of the season.

1. STAY COMMITTED

That first meeting was Jordan Howard's first start, and his first 100-yard game, and the rook ran it 23 times for the first of five 100-yard rushing efforts (113). And since the two Bears touchdowns were scored by a couple of players who won't suit up Sunday (Eddie Royal and Zach Miller, from a quarterback who also won't be suiting up), keep feeding the beast. He's 117 yards from reaching the 1,000-yard mark (after just a dozen carries the first three games), and another 100-yard effort would give him the most for a rookie in Bears franchise history.

2. A FASTER START FOR MATT

...meaning Barkley, not Stafford. The Bears want to avoid a faster start by Stafford and the home offense, which was held to just one first down and 14 total plays on their first four possessions back in October. As Barkley makes his first NFL road start in a dome, he and his offensive teammates need to get out of the gate quicker than they have the last two home games. Before they got things rolling on the final drive of the first half against the San Francisco 49ers, they had four possessions that totaled 14 plays, 27 net yards and two first downs. In Barkley's first start two weeks ago against the Tennessee Titans, they surrounded one 13-play touchdown drive in the opening half with five possessions, totaling 16 plays, 108 yards, three first downs, and an interception.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

3. HOO-RATIO

The Bears have lost the turnover battle in eight of their 12 games, and just twice have they won it. One of those instances was in Week 4. For a team that has just five interceptions all year, against a quarterback who's thrown just five picks, two came in the first meeting on the lakefront. And those picks were by (....wait for it....) Deiondre Hall (the rookie who'll play for the first time since that game), and Jacoby Glenn, who's now back on the practice squad. Now, yes, Stafford is a different beast in his den, and there's a completely different confidence level now for the NFC North leaders. But what if the defense can pull an encore? And can Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks pick up where they left off against another mobile quarterback? The Bears had just two sacks in the first meeting, registered by (....wait for it....) Mitch Unrein and Cornelius Washington.

** Finish up your snow removal by 11 a.m. Plop yourself in front of CSN, and watch ex-Bears Lance Briggs, Jim Miller and Alex Brown join Chris for Bears Pregame Live. Then as soon as the second quarter ends on CBS, log on here to CSNChicago.com as Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over second half adjustments on Bears Halftime Live. Finally, as soon as the team's start sharing handshakes, flip back to CSN as the three ex-Bears and Chris provide 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, press conferences and locker room interviews from Detroit on Bears Postgame Live. **

Complete Bears-Lions coverage on CSN

Complete Bears-Lions coverage on CSN

The Bears and Detroit Lions square off Sunday at noon and CSN Chicago has you covered along the way.

Check out a schedule of Sunday's events:

— Meijer Bears Pregame Live with Chris Boden, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown and Jim Miller airs at 11 a.m. on CSN.

— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Bears Halftime Live streaming live on CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com.

— State Farm Bears Postgame Live airing immediately after the game on CSN.

Important Twitter follows:

— John "Moon" Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), CSNChicago

— Bears Talk (@CSNBears), CSNChicago

— Kip Lewis (@CSNKipLewis), CSNChicago

— Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), CSNChicago