Chicago Sun-Times

Tinoisamoa still out, but Roach returns

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It's looking more and more like strongside linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa won't play against the Patriots on Sunday, but backup Nick Roach should be available to take his place.

Tinoisamoa, still bothered by a sore knee, did not practice again on Thursday. But Roach, who has a lower back injury, did practice and would start alongside Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs against the Patriots if Tinoisamoa can't go.

The Patriots had four players who did not practice Thursday: safety Patrick Chung (personal), linebacker Brandon Spikes (personal), cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (hip) and defensive end Mike Wright (concussion).

Quarterback Tom Brady (shoulder/foot, etc.) and nose tackle Myron Pryor (back) were limited in practice.

Bears coach Lovie Smith was upbeat about his team's preparation for the showdown with the 10-2 Patriots.

''Great practice for our guys. We got a lot of good work in today. We're one day closer.''

Smith said he would wait until Sunday to check out the newly laid turf at Soldier Field. As expected, it did not appear to be a big deal to him.

''It's Chicago. In December,'' Smith said. ''We're not going to have turf like Tampa or Miami or somewhere like that. The turf will be fine. Both teams will play on the same surface. It won't be a factor.''

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Backup Nick Roach won't be much of a drop off at the stronside linebacker position, if you remember going into the season he was the starter. I actually think he brings more speed to the position. I just don't think Tinoisamoa's knee is gonna hold up in the NFL anymore, Roach should become the starter so the Bears can keep some kind of continuity at the strongside position, although Roach has had his own durability problems this season. An upgrade may be needed this off-season at the position, but as long as the Bears have Urlacher and Briggs, the position as a whole is not a problem GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on December 9, 2010 4:20 PM.

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