Reporting Laurence Holmes
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By Laurence Holmes-
NASHVILLE — The writing seems to be on the wall for Chester Taylor’s future with the Bears. Matt Forte got the bulk of the workload on Saturday (as he should) with 17 carries. Before Marion Barber got hurt, he got in a few snaps and Khalil Bell got a long look. Taylor was told just prior to the game that he wouldn’t be playing and was surprised by that.
“He (Lovie Smith) told me at the beginning of the game that I wasn’t getting any reps so I didn’t expect to play no matter what happens. So I just take it for what it is,” Taylor said.
Smith said don’t read anything into Taylor not playing, but it’s hard not to.
“[Not playing Taylor] meant that we wanted to take a look at someone else tonight. In particular, Kahlil Bell. Kahlil hasn’t gotten an opportunity to play much. We wanted to get a good look at him and we were able to and I think he did a good job taking advantage of the carries he got.”
Bell finished the game with 11 carries for 48 yards. He caught three passes for 20 yards and did a nice job in blitz pick-up. His versatility and added value as a special-teamer could give him an advantage on Taylor.
Barber left the game with a calf injury. He’ll be evaluated when the Bears get back to Chicago. The severity of Barber’s injury may be the deciding factor on whether or not Taylor makes the team. As for Saturday night, not knowing until game time that he wasn’t going to play was the biggest issue.
“It just upsets me that I practiced all week and I didn’t know I wasn’t going to play today, but it is still pre-season,” Taylor said. ”I don’t know what the excuse was, but fortunately, I’ll find out soon enough.”
First cut-down comes Tuesday. Each team has to have the 53-man roster set next Saturday.