Wild-card weekend kicks off this afternoon with the Atlanta Falcons at the Arizona Cardinals. We'll take a look at players with connections to the Bears in the games this weekend.
Mike Gandy. Third-round pick in 2001 was originally considered a guard when he was with the Bears. Went on to make six starts at left tackle to finish the 2002 season when injuries swept through the line. Made 14 starts at left tackle the following year and began 2004 at right guard before being let go midway through the season. Spent 2005 and 2006 in Buffalo with former Bears coach Dick Jauron before heading to the Cardinals last season. He'll have the tall task of blocking Falcons defensive end John Abraham.
Bryan Robinson. Starting nose tackle has continued his career into a 12th season. He was released before the start of the 2004 season. He spent the previous three seasons in Cincinnati and has not missed a game in more than three years.
Ian Scott. The fourth-round pick from 2003 found a home in San Diego under defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. He did not dress for the final three games of the season and has been used in a reserve role.
Brendon Ayanbadejo. Former Pro Bowl special teams player shunned Bears in free agency to accept a three-year deal in Baltimore where he earned Pro Bowl honors for the third consecutive season.
Lousaka Polite. Cut at the end of training camp, Polite signed on with the Dolphins in mid-October and has made five starts. He's carried the ball eight times on third- or fourth-and-one and picked up the first down every time. Seven of those eight drives wound up going for scores. Polite was cut loose by the Bears as they decided to go with one fullback on the roster.
Drisan James. Undrafted rookie free agent from Boise State spent time with the Bears in 2007. He's on the Eagles practice squad.
Babatune Oshinowo. Defensive tackle from Neuqua Valley High School signed to the Eagles' practice squad in November. He spent time on the 53-man roster and practice squad for the Bears last season.
Bernard Berrian. Bolted for the Vikings in free agency for the lure of a $42 million, six-year contract. Burned his former team with a 99-yard touchdown reception in November. Has been the deep threat the Vikings signed him to be but 48 receptions and seven touchdowns don't quite justify the salary.
Maurice Hicks. Running back first joined the Bears in 2002 as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina A&T. Was allocated by the team to NFL Europe the next year but never spent any time on the 53-man roster or practice squad. He's a special teams performer.
Jimmy Kennedy. Former first-round pick was an emergency pickup by the Bears at the end of last season and the Vikings brought him in for the same reason after the Williams Wall was suspended.
Bobby Wade. Former slippery-handed punt returner and slot receiver has found a nice home for himself. Will do the dirty work across the middle and is being utilizied properly.