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Was schedule different due to holiday?

Posted Dec 25, 2013

Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses if the Bears changed their practice schedule because of Christmas, the return record Devin Hester is chasing and the last time the Bears swept the Packers.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

What is the Bears' practice schedule this week given the holiday? Do you anticipate any changes throwing off necessary preparation for the Packers game?

Alex B.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Bears generally practice Wednesday through Friday following Sunday games, but this week they held a walkthrough and meetings on Wednesday and will practice Thursday and Friday. The schedule adjustment has nothing to do with Christmas being on Wednesday. The team arrived in Chicago early Monday morning after their Sunday night game in Philadelphia, so coach Marc Trestman is treating the week as if the Bears played on Monday. Here's how he explained it: "At this stage of the season, the Christmas holiday probably wouldn't have changed the way we scheduled this at all. It's almost like a Monday game. We got in very, very late. The guys expended themselves. It's Week 17. Our plan was to work this way regardless. We're not going to take them through a practice mode when the best thing for them to do is recover. We can get a lot done; we've shown that we can with two days of work."

Why do I keep hearing about Devin Hester needing one more return to break the record? I thought he already held the NFL record for most kickoff return touchdowns.

Patrick K.
Bolingbrook, Illinois

Devin Hester does already hold all-time NFL records with 18 combined kick return touchdowns and 13 punt return TDs. The mark that you keep hearing about is the one for all return TDs including fumbles and interceptions. He currently shares that record with Deion Sanders at 19. The one in that total that doesn't count in the kick return TD category is Hester's 109-yard return of a missed field goal against the Giants in 2006. By the way, I'm not sure why that doesn't count as a kick return TD given the ball was kicked to him on the play, but that's a topic for another day.

When was the last time the Bears swept the season series against the Packers?

Roger W.
Lombard, Illinois

A win Sunday would give the Bears their first season sweep over the Packers since 2007 when they beat Green Bay 27-20 at Lambeau Field and 35-7 at Soldier Field. The only other time the Bears have swept the Packers since 1991 was in 2005 when they won 19-7 in Chicago before clinching the NFC North title with a 24-17 victory on Christmas Day in Green Bay.

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