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Bears begin prepping to face defending champions

Three days after their frustrating loss to the Lions, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to prepare for Sunday's home game against the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens (4-5).

Having lost four of six since a 3-0 start, the Bears (5-4) are tied for second place in the NFC North with the Packers (5-4), one game behind the division-leading Lions (6-3).

Quarterback Josh McCown will make his second start in three games in place of Jay Cutler, who sustained a high ankle sprain in last Sunday's loss to Detroit.


For the first time in his 11-year NFL career, Josh McCown will start a game at Soldier Field Sunday.
McCown has appeared in each of the Bears' last three games, completing 42 of 70 passes for 538 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. His 103.2 passer rating ranks eighth in the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 50 passing attempts.

The Bears no doubt will work on improving their run game this week in practice after mustering only 38 yards on 20 carries against the Lions, a 1.9-yard average. Matt Forte was limited to 33 yards on 17 attempts and was stopped on a crucial two-point conversion run.

The Bears defense will be forced to overcome the loss of another key player in cornerback Charles Tillman, who was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return after suffering a torn right triceps against the Lions. He will be replaced by veteran Zack Bowman.

The Bears defense has lost five starters to significant injuries this year. Tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins are out for the season with torn ACLs, linebacker D.J. Williams is on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle and linebacker Lance Briggs remains out indefinitely with a fractured shoulder. Nickel back Kelvin Hayden was lost for the season in training camp with a groin injury.  

The all-time series between the Bears and Ravens is tied 2-2 with the home team winning all four games. The Ravens won the last meeting 31-7 in Baltimore on Dec. 20, 2009 as the Bears committed six turnovers and quarterback Joe Flacco threw a career-high four touchdown passes.

In total yards, the Bears offense ranks 10th in the NFL (15th rushing and 8th passing), while the Ravens defense ranks 15th (10th against the run and 18th versus the pass). The Bears defense is 26th overall (31st against the run and 23rd versus the pass, while the Ravens offense is 29th (30th rushing and 17th passing). will provide all the latest Bears news throughout the week from Halas Hall. Coach Marc Trestman is scheduled to address the media Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis will be available Wednesday, while McCown and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer will speak Thursday.

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