By Adam Hoge-
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Bears surpised the NFL Saturday when they chose to kick from the 30-yard line on two kickoffs in the first half.
New NFL safety rules mandate kickoffs take place from the 35-yard line, but the Bears received permission from the Bills to kickoff from the 30-yard line to help work on special teams coverage.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get permission from the NFL, which called the Bears at halftime and told them they needed to kickoff from the 35.
Forte Plays, Sort Of
When Matt Forte hinted that he would hold himself out of the Bears first preseason game because he hadn’t received a new contract, many wondered if he was telling the truth. Forte has made it clear he wants a new deal, but has also handled the situation with class by not holding out.
Well, Forte did dress and he was on the field for the Bears’ first offensive series Saturday night, but he didn’t receive a carry.
Call it a compromise?
Field More Than Playable
All eyes were on the playing surface Saturday night after Bears Family Night was canceled a week ago because of poor field conditions. After heavy rains Saturday afternoon, the field held up and most players didn’t have a problem with it.
Jay Cutler — who was only on the field for six snaps — refused to say the field was in good shape. Instead, he simply said it was “OK” and sported a sarcastic smile on his face. It was pretty obvious he’s still not happy with the field.
Players who helped themselves
Henry Melton – Got the start in the three-technique and had a solid game including an early TFL.
Major Wright – Was all over the field and a number of nice open field tackles.
Brian Iwuh – Made a really nice play to stuff Bills running back Johnny White for a second quarter TFL. All-around solid game.
Amobi Okoye – Showed off his true potential with two sacks.
Marion Barber – Ran with a purpose and was just as good in pass protection. 45 yards on just seven carries (6.4 ypc).
Kahlil Bell – 73 yards on 13 carries (5.6 ypc). Provides more value to team than Chester Taylor because of his special teams ability.
Gabe Carimi – On a rough night for the offensive line, Carimi didn’t make any mistakes. His pass protection was better than Bears have been giving him credit for.
Jake Laptad – The rookie defensive end from Kansas was active and forced Tyler Thigpen out of the pocket on one play that resulted in a sack.
Kris Adams – Rookie wide receiver from UTEP led Bears with three catches for 58 yards, including a 31-yard reception.
Mike Holmes – The rookie cornerback from Syracuse made a nice interception and was in position for another.
Players who hurt themselves
J’Marcus Webb – Was called for a holding penalty on a play that resulted in a sack anyway. Run blocking was OK, but all-around tough night.
Lance Louis – Called his own play “below average” and was responsible for at least one sack.
Roberto Garza – Allowed a sack and was otherwise average. No botched snaps though.
Chester Taylor – 3 yards on 3 carries. Not good. Bears might have to give him more reps in next game if he’s fighting for his job.
Vernon Gholston – Moves like a statue. Didn’t see him get around a block all night and he ran straight into Marcus Harrison during a tackle that resulted in a shoulder injury for Harrison.
Defensive end Corey Wooton suffered a knee injury on the opening kickoff. It might not have happened if the Bears had kicked off from the 35-yard line like the were supposed to. Robbie Gould can easily get a touchback from the 35.
Cornerback Zackary Bowman suffered a head injury when he laid a vicious hit on Bills wide receiver Paul Hubbard.
Defensive tackle Marcus Harrison suffered a shoulder injury when he collided with teammate Vernon Gholston on a successful tackle.
All injury statuses will be updated in camp this week.
For more Bears coverage, follow Adam Hoge on Twitter (@AdamHogeCBS).