DETROIT — Nose tackle Stephen Paea became three-technique Stephen Paea on Sunday as the Bears moved to replace injured tackle Henry Melton in their defense.
Besides Paea, defensive end Corey Wootton moved inside as the “rush” tackle as well.
“I’m an athlete,” said Paea, laughing. “I can play end if they need me to.”
Paea, who finished with two tackles, one for loss, is playing at 290 pounds and has played both tackle spots at Oregon State and with the Bears. But his primary job since coming to the Bears is to be stout against the run and command a double team, leaving Melton singled up against guards.
Nate Collins started at nose tackle and played most of the game there, with relief from newly signed Landon Cohen. “I felt pretty good,” said Cohen, with the Dallas Cowboys through the first two weeks of the season. “I’m still in shape and the schemes are similar, so I was glad to get right in.”
Wootton, inside on nickel situations, had four tackles, one for loss, and forced a fumble, recovered by Shea McClellin.
“It was fun to be inside and get my hands up,” said Wootton, 6-foot-6, 280 pounds. “I’m not sure I’m ready for ‘nose,’ though.”