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Will Paea be ready to face Colts?

Posted Sep 4, 2012

Larry discusses Stephen Paea's ankle injury, why placing Brandon Hardin on the PUP list was not an option and if the Bears have named their captains.

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.

I've been hearing a ton about Brian Urlacher's knee (and with good reason), but I haven't heard much about Stephen Paea's injury. Do the Bears expect him to play Sunday against the Colts?

Thomas L.
Schaumburg, Illinois

More will be known Wednesday when the Bears are required to release their first injury report in advance of Sunday's season opener against the Colts. But second-year defensive tackle Stephen Paea said that he practiced without restrictions Monday and "I felt good. I'm healthy and ready to go." The Bears are hopeful that Paea, who had been sidelined since hurting his ankle Aug. 11 in practice, will be able to be part of the defensive line rotation in the opener barring a setback.

Why didn't the Bears place Brandon Hardin on the PUP list instead of injured reserve so he could have returned after six weeks rather than being out for the entire season?

Adam K.
Lansing, Illinois

Only players who are not able to practice when training camp begins-physically unable to perform-are eligible to be placed on the PUP list. So even if a player gets injured in the first training camp practice, he cannot go on the list. That's why the PUP list was not an option for Brandon Hardin, who injured his neck in the Bears' Aug. 18 preseason game against the Redskins.

Have the Bears named their team captains yet?

Scott A.
Indiana

Yes, the Bears named their five captains Monday: Quarterback Jay Cutler and center Roberto Garza on offense, defensive end Julius Peppers and middle linebacker Brian Urlacher on defense, and long-snapper Patrick Mannelly on special teams. Those are the same five captains as last season. All Bears players (on the active roster and practice squad) and coaches vote for the captains.

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