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Chalk Talk

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Why didn't Bears run on third down?

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.

On Jay Cutler's second interception Sunday, I think everyone agrees that he shouldn't have thrown the ball back across the middle. But why didn't the Bears run the ball on third-and-one?

Don P.
Rolling Meadows, Illinois

Bears coach Marc Trestman explained Monday that he would have kept the offense on the field to go for the first down on fourth-and-one, so calling a pass play on third-and-one gave the Bears a chance to make a big play. The feeling was that even with an incompletion, they could pick up the first down on fourth down, but as we know they never got that opportunity because of the interception. Plus Kyle Long had been stopped for no gain on second-and-one, so a pass on third-and-one was also a way to mix up the play-calling and keep the Bills defense off balance.

It seemed to me that Bears wide receiver Santonio Holmes was blocking on the play late in Sunday's game when Jay Cutler was picked off by a defensive lineman. Was I seeing things?

Ralph J.
Chicago

You weren't seeing things. Coach Marc Trestman acknowledged Monday that there was a miscommunication on the play, saying: "Santonio maybe being new, there was some discrepancy on the language of the call in there. We really never found out exactly why because Santonio should have cleared. He thought the call was for him to block, so that was part of the issue."

What's the latest on the injuries to Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson? How long will they be out?

Darren H.
Bolingbrook, Illinois

The Bears did not provide any updates Monday about the status of players who were injured in Sunday's loss. Asked about center Roberto Garza (ankle), left guard Matt Slauson (ankle) and receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), coach Marc Trestman said: "All that will be ongoing for the rest of the day [Monday] and [Tuesday] while these guys get evaluated." I assume we'll know more Wednesday when the Bears return to the practice field in advance of Sunday night's game against the 49ers in San Francisco.

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