By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) — Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett is still attending to a family matter back in Texas and the Bears are preparing for him to miss Sunday’s game against the Packers.
Head coach Marc Trestman said Friday that Bennett will officially be listed as questionable for the game, but he didn’t sound optimistic about Bennett playing.
“I would just say he’s really questionable right now.,” the head coach said. “The fact that he hasn’t practiced is evidence of where we’re going to have to go in this. We just want to leave ourselves open. We don’t want to close the door on it yet, but I would say that it’s questionable right now at best.”
If Bennett is out, veteran special teamer Eric Weems and rookie Marquess Wilson will see more playing time at wide receiver.
“They’ve got to know where to line up, and they’ve got to know what to do, and we assume that they are capable of doing that,” Trestman said. “We’d be excited for both of them to play. They’ve done very, very well at practice, we can count on them and we think they’ll do well and fit in. And if Earl’s not with us, we’re going to miss that, certainly, in the locker room and on the field. But we feel very confident in those two guys.”
According to a league source, if the Bears and Cowboys both win Sunday, the Bears would likely host their playoff game on Saturday for logistical reasons. AT&T Stadium in Dallas is hosting the Cotton Bowl Friday night and would require a quick turnaround for a home Cowboys playoff game. Beyond that, the Cotton Bowl will also be on FOX, which also holds the rights to the Sunday NFC playoff game. Saturday’s games are on NBC.
And for those looking even further ahead, a loss Sunday could make the Bears’ 2014 schedule easier. But it could be even easier if the Lions win too. If the Bears lose and the Lions win, the Bears will fall to third place in the NFC, which means they would play a road game against the NFC West’s third-place finisher and host the NFC East’s third-place finisher.
That’s the difference between hosting the Giants instead of the Eagles or Cowboys, and traveling to Arizona instead of Seattle or San Francisco.
Clete Blakeman will be the referee for Sunday’s game between the Packers and Bears, according to a league source.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.