Cornerback Kyle Fuller picked up the slack for an injury-depleted Bears secondary Sunday at Soldier Field, delivering his most productive game of the season in a 15-14 loss to the 49ers.
The 2014 first-round draft pick generated the game's only takeaway with a first-quarter interception and also recorded six tackles, one tackle-for-loss and two pass breakups.
The interception was Fuller's first since Dec. 13, 2015 against the Redskins. In coverage over the middle, he snatched Jimmy Garoppolo's pass away from receiver Louis Murphy at the Chicago 41. The pick set up the Bears' only offensive touchdown of the game.
"Just being able to get there at the same time as him, being able to get my hands on it and pull it away," Fuller said. "Football is a reaction game, especially for corners. Once I saw what I saw, it was just getting a good break and being in good enough position."
Fuller's interception was the first of Garoppolo's NFL career on his 104th pass attempt.
Get an insider's look at a Bears game day with these behind-the-scenes photos and angles that the TV cameras didn't capture at Soldier Field.
The Bears played without three injured safeties, starter Adrian Amos (hamstring) and backups Deon Bush (ankle) and DeAndre Houston-Carson (ankle). Veteran Chris Prosinski, who signed with the team on Thursday and not had played in an NFL game this year, started Sunday.
"Any time you lose people, whether it is during the game or during the week, it makes coaches' jobs a little more difficult and it makes players' jobs a little more difficult," said coach John Fox. "I don't think that was a huge factor in the game. I thought Chris Prosinski stepped in there and played well."
Ground up: After rushing for just six yards on 14 carries last Sunday in Philadelphia against the NFL's top run defense, the Bears produced only 62 yards on 19 carries versus a 49ers run defense that entered Week 13 ranked 30th in the league.
"Last week we didn't succeed too well at it," Fox said. "We kind of went back to some of the things we knew or execute better and have in meetings past. Without seeing the tape right at this point, I can't comment totally on it. I haven't really engrained the stats in my head. But it just seems like we weren't able to generate as much as I thought we would."
Jordan Howard was held to 38 yards on 13 carries, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky ran for 19 yards on four attempts and Tarik Cohen rushed for five yards on two carries.
Still struggling: The Bears offense generated just 147 yards and eight first downs Sunday and has scored only six touchdowns in its last six games.
"We just have to find a way to stay on the field, keep the defense off the field and play a complete game," Trubisky said. "It's awesome to have the big plays on special teams, but we have to do better on offense. It starts with me. I have to get better every week and be more consistent, especially on third downs."
Trubisky completed 12 of 15 passes for 102 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a 117.2 passer rating.
Kicker limited: With Cairo Santos nursing a groin injury, punter Pat O'Donnell handled kickoff duties, booting all three of his kickoffs into the end zone, with two resulting in touchbacks.
Santos kicked both Bears extra points and was also available to attempt short field goals.
"It was a little bit of a range issue, but it didn't come to fruition," Fox said.
Injury update: Right guard Kyle Long (shoulder), outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (shoulder) and defensive end Mitch Unrein (knee) exited Sunday's game with injuries.
Better outcome: In his first game back with the Bears, Lamarr Houston recorded one of two sacks of Garoppolo. When the veteran outside linebacker injured his knee while celebrating a sack in a 2014 loss to the Patriots, his victim was also Garoppolo.