Chicago Sun-Times

Trickle down effect of injuries reaches special teams

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The Week 1 injuries to Mike Brown and Dusty Dvoracek have sent the team down the depth chart right away to come up with new starters. That's been a focus all week. Lost in the shuffle is the impact their losses have on Dave Toub's special teams unit.

Danieal Manning was a four-phase contributor for Toub. While he may still get some action on kickoff returns, he's going to be replaced. The first step will be for rookie safety Kevin Payne to be elevated. Ultimately, it could mean more action for rookie cornerback Trumaine McBride and wide receiver Mark Bradley.

Then, there is the issue of replacing Dvoracek on the wedge on kickoff returns. That's actually where he was when his leg planted funny and his knee buckled, sending him to the injured reserve for the second consecutive season.

One of the reasons the Bears were so good on special teams last season, besides Devin Hester and Robbie Gould, was that the team stayed healthy. It doesn't take an injury to a core special teams player to send the unit scrambling. Any time a backup gets moved up, he's likely going to be lost to Toub, at least partially.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 13, 2007 10:33 PM.

Numbers prove Bears tough at Soldier Field is the next entry in this blog.

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