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Chalk Talk

Why did Bears put Bennett on IR?

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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.

What happened to tight end Martellus Bennett; how did he go from being day-to-day to being placed on injured reserve?

Jordan G.
Bloomington, Illinois

Bears coach John Fox revealed Wednesday that tight end Martellus Bennett was placed on injured reserve because he suffered a fractured rib Nov. 22 in a loss to the Broncos. Fox told reporters that "it flared up to the point where we didn't bring him to Green Bay. He tried to gut it [out] and go this past week and it just wasn't going to work. The only real way to fix him is to let it rest and heal. Playing football is not real conducive to healing ribs so we determined to 'I.R.' him was best for us and him moving forward."

I've noticed that outside linebacker Pernell McPhee hasn't been on the field as much in recent weeks. Do you think he'll get expanded playing time the rest of the season?

Phil R.
Rosemont, Illinois

The Bears would love to have Pernell McPhee on the field for every play, but a knee injury that forced him to miss the Rams game Nov. 15 and has bothered him ever since is expected to continue to limit him. McPhee played 56 percent of the snaps in each of the last two games against the Packers (34 of 61) and 49ers (44 of 78) and likely will continue to see about the same amount of playing time, according to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Here's what Fangio said Wednesday when asked about McPhee possibly getting more snaps moving forward: "I think what we've gotten out of him the last few weeks is about all we could expect right now."

I follow the Bears a lot here in Canada and love "Chalk Talk." Is Jermon Bushrod not a starter anymore at left tackle? I have seen Charles Leno Jr. Jr. playing a lot more. The last thing I heard was that Bushrod had a concussion.

Chris R.
Canada

Left tackle Jermon Bushrod suffered a concussion and shoulder injury in the Bears' Week 3 loss to the Seahawks. Replacement Charles Leno Jr. played well enough to keep the starting job after Bushrod recovered, so there has been a change on the depth chart at that position. Bushrod played 12 snaps as an eligible sixth lineman in last Sunday's loss to the 49ers, a role he has filled the last few weeks. Asked about Bushrod contributing as a sixth lineman, right tackle Kyle Long said: "We're able to do some more stuff. Jermon is a good run blocker. He's been doing this a long time. And also just with the younger group that we do have, having a guy like 'Bush' around is really tremendous because he's been to the top of the mountain. He's won a Super Bowl. He's been a Pro Bowler. He's been a left tackle. He's done enough things, he's played with tremendous players before. To have his knowledge and his wisdom in our locker room and our meeting room is awesome. And then to have him lining up next to me sometimes is really cool. If there's any moment of doubt, Bushrod knows exactly what's going on at all times. And that's something that you need."

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