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OLB Christian Jones – With Lance Briggs out for the year, we saw a glimpse of what the Bears LB core might look like next year with Christian Jones and Jon Bostic handling the LB duties in nickel packages. They are the two most athletic LBs on the roster and both played solid games on Thursday despite the lopsided score. Jones might be the most athletic LB on the team and has shown flashes lately of being an impact player. Jones is a good blitzer and with his size (6’4, 240) has been able to cover TEs out of the backfield. Jones got burned by Theo Riddick for 30 yards, but that is a tough cover for the much bigger Jones. He’s played very well the last two weeks and should be starting in place of Briggs for the last four weeks of the season to see if he can lock down the job for next year.
P Pat O’Donnell – My apologies Mr O’Donnell for my negativity last week. Your two shanked punts in the 4th quarter had me a little worried about your ability to punt under pressure in the harsh Chicago winds. On Thursday O’Donnell had his best game as a Bear with 2 60+ yard punts when the Bears needed distance and 3 punts that pinned the Lions within the 20 when the Bears needed directional kicking. Two of the three directional punts were pinned within the 10 and O’Donnell looked like the weapon the Bears thought they were getting when they spent a 6th round pick on a punter in a loaded draft.
T/G Charles Leno Jr – Got 6 snaps again when the Bears decided to bring in a 6th lineman. The Bears used Eben Britton for that role last year, but with Britton injured, the rookie Leno has taken over the role and hasn’t made any mistakes over the last three games. I think Leno has the potential to be a starting guard or RT eventually and it’s good to see the Bears trusting him enough to get him on the field after being inactive most of the season.
RB Senorise Perry – Continues to be the Bears best special teams coverage guy and had a tackle and forced fumble on punt coverage this week. Luckily for the Lions the ball bounced right back to the return man otherwise it would have been a huge play for Perry and the Bears. That is two weeks in a row that Perry has made an exceptional punt coverage play and he has become the Bears best special teams gunner. The Bears rewarded Perry with an offense snap on their last drive, but he was stopped for -1 yards on a screen pass.
DT Brandon Dunn – Got his first action of the season late in the 2nd half. Dunn got 21 snaps subbing for Will Sutton once the game was out of reach. Dunn didn’t embarrass himself, holding his own against the run but not generating any pass rush.
CB Al Louis-Jean – After a pretty good performance against Vincent Jackson last week, Louis-Jean only got 9 snaps on defense vs the Lions. He made a tackle on Bell but also missed one on Bell’s 22-yard run on the Lions last drive of the game. ALJ didn’t give up any catches but was only targeted once. With the playoffs out of the picture for the Bears, I would like to see Louis-Jean to get more snaps the last few games to see if he can build on his strong performance in week 12.
LB DeDe Lattimore – Played on special teams and missed a tackle on a kick return.
CB Terrance Mitchell