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Chalk Talk


Will Rodriguez catch more passes?

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

With the struggles of Kellen Davis to catch passes, could you envision Mike Tice using rookie Evan Rodriguez to catch some passes? He showed great hands in the preseason.

Lanham, Maryland

I definitely think that's a possibility, especially now that Evan Rodriguez appears to be fully recovered from the knee injury he suffered on the opening kickoff Sept. 23 against the Rams. The rookie fourth-round draft pick returned to action Nov. 4 in Tennessee after missing four games. Rodriguez has been lining up at fullback, but I could see him getting some reps at tight end. Kellen Davis has had some key drops in recent weeks, but he's not the only pass catcher who needs to step up. Brandon Marshall has been performing at an All-Pro level, but one of the reasons the Bears offense has not performed up to expectations is that a second receiving option has not emerged.

I don't think the $30,000 fine that Tim Dobbins received for his hit on Jay Cutler was enough. To me, I thought it warranted a one-game suspension. What do you think?

Rich K.
Lake Bluff, Illinois

I've received several emails from fans expressing the same belief, that Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins should be suspended for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Jay Cutler. I can't say I was surprised that Dobbins wasn't suspended, but I wouldn't have been shocked either way. While players rarely get suspended for hits, Broncos linebacker Joe Mays was fined $50,000 and suspended for one game earlier this season after a vicious hit ironically on the Texans' Matt Schaub that took off part of the quarterback's ear. I feel that was a worse hit, but the one Dobbins delivered was also pretty bad. The NFL could have sent a clear message that player safety is of the utmost important and helmet-to-helmet hits like that won't be tolerated by also suspending Dobbins.

I was wondering if Adam Podlesh was still suffering from the hip flexor injury he had in the preseason. His punts don't seem to have the same pop as last year.

Sean W.
Golden, Colorado

Bears coach Lovie Smith indicated Wednesday that Adam Podlesh has completely recovered from the hip flexor injury that bothered him during the preseason, saying: "He's healthy. If you're out there on the football field, you are healthy and ready to go, especially with a punter. You have to have everything ready before you can punt. So that's not an issue."

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