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Mack day-to-day with ankle injury


Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack did not practice Wednesday and is day-to-day with an ankle injury he sustained in last Sunday's loss to the Dolphins.

The All-Pro pass rusher was injured early in the game, but he remained in the contest.

"He's day-to-day right now," coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday before practice. "We'll have to see as we go, even the next couple hours, with where he's at practice-wise. We're just going to continue to keep an eye on it and make sure whatever we do, we're more cautious than anything. I believe in that and I think it's important to go that route."

Mack was named NFC defensive player of the month for September after recording a strip/sack in each of the first four games of the season and returning an interception for a touchdown in the season opener in Green Bay.

The Bears acquired Mack Sept. 1 in a blockbuster trade with the Raiders. He made an immediate impact with his new team despite not participating in Oakland's offseason program, training camp or preseason games due to a contract holdout.

Asked if Mack could miss practice all week and still play in Sunday's game against the Patriots, Nagy said: "I'm finding that out. I don't know the answer to that, I really don't. But he's doing good. He's in good spirits and we're just going about business. You could see it when he tweaked it, he continued to play. We've just got to keep an eye on it so that he's mentally ready as well as physically."

A class of his own: Mack has been compared by some to Giants Hall of Fame outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor. But Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who worked with Taylor from 1981-90 while serving as a defensive assistant in New York, feels that Taylor remains in a class of his own.

"Wait a minute, we're talking about Lawrence Taylor now," Belichick said Wednesday. "I'm not putting anybody in Lawrence Taylor's class. Put everyone down below that, and that's with a lot of respect to a lot of good players now. But we're talking about Lawrence Taylor."

In 13 seasons with the Giants from 1981-93, Taylor won two Super Bowls, was named NFL defensive player of the year three times, was voted to 10 Pro Bowls and was an eight-time first-team All-Pro selection.

Familiar foe: In Nagy's final four seasons as a Chiefs assistant, Kansas City won two of three meetings with the Patriots, winning 41-14 in 2014 and 42-27 in 2017 while losing a 2015 divisional playoff game 27-20.

"Coach Nagy knows this opponent very well," said quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. "He studies as much tape as anyone throughout the week and he's had success against this team, so that definitely gives me confidence, and it's just me and him continuing to communicate and being on the same page.

"He's given me a lot of confidence that we'll be able to move the ball and put up points against these guys this weekend. We've just got to continue to take care of the football, [and] be smart while staying aggressive. We've got to have a great work week of practice and then translate it to the game."

Practice makes perfect: After scoring four touchdowns in the first three games of the season, the Bears offense has produced 10 TDs in its last two contests.

"It's just us executing so well in practice, translating it to the game and all 11 guys playing as one," Trubisky said. "The offensive line has played two of their best games back-to-back, given me a lot of time back there.

"We're getting more and more detailed with our route running and timing and me just trusting my eyes and my feet, being comfortable with my drops and getting a lot of reps of downfield throws and timing to be able to get on the same page with everybody.

"We're just going to continue to grow, keep getting better. But I definitely think it's the work we put in in practice, all 11 guys playing together and trusting each other and trusting the plan and going out and executing it."