Hoge’s Notes: Martellus Bennett Plays Through Shoulder Injury
By Adam Hoge
SOLDIER FIELD (CBS) Tight end Martellus Bennett, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass with 10 seconds left, suffered a shoulder injury in the first half of the Bears’ 31-30 win over the Vikings Sunday.
The injury occurred in the second quarter when Cutler tried to hit the tight end on a 31-yard touchdown pass. The pass went through the back of the end zone and Bennett ran into a cameraman.
“Just trying to make a play and I messed up my shoulder. I’m in a lot of pain right now, but it is what it is, gotta go back in there and finish up,” Bennett said after the game.
Not only did he finish the game, but he ended up catching seven passes and two touchdowns on the day, including the game-winner. On the final drive of the game, he caught two passes for 39 yards.
“At this level, I just feel like the tight end is a position that you gotta play through a lot of injuries and a lot of pain,” Bennett said. “It’s a tough position to play and I’ve been fortunate enough to not miss any games really in my career and hopefully it stays that way.”
Asked if the shoulder injury will be an issue going forward, Bennett said: “Probably so.”
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Butterflies And Unicorns
The injury didn’t seem to have any impact on Bennett’s usual colorful post game analysis. He compared his elusiveness to Muhammed Ali’s, saying he he was hard to catch like a butterfly.
“You ever try to catch a butterfly with your hands? You can’t do it. You need a net,” Bennett said. “They have butterfly nets made just for catching butterflies. Hopefully they don’t make unicorn nets, just for catching unicorns out there. Especially black ones.”
Bennett’s nickname is the Black Unicorn.
Hester Comes Up Huge
Devin Hester broke his own Bears franchise record for kick return yards in a game, piling up 249 on just five returns. He consistently gave the Bears good field position, even when he didn’t get the ball.
On the Bears’ final drive of the game, they got the ball at their own 34-yard line because the Vikings elected to kick short to wide receiver Joe Anderson.
“He was a big factor in the game, not only when he had his hands on the ball, but he was also a factor in the game when they didn’t want to kick to him because we had field position,” head coach Marc Trestman said.
Hester came close to scoring a touchdown twice. His longest return of the day was 80 yards, which came right after Vikings wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson opened the game with a kick return for a touchdown. Hester put the Bears in scoring position right away, allowing them to tie the game.
– The Bears got a rare win with a minus-1 turnover ratio. Jay Cutler threw two interceptions and also was stripped by Jared Allen on a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Brian Robison.
– There were on-and-off rain showers during the game, but Trestman was pleased with how the field held up despite the Illinois-Washington game that was played on the same turf Saturday night.
– Cornerback Charles Tillman tweaked his knee for the second straight week, but stayed in the game. Safety Major Wright was tested for a concussion in the first half, but was cleared and returned to the game.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.