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Chalk Talk

Why didn't Ziggy Hood play Sunday?

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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.

I heard a lot about the Bears signing defensive lineman Ziggy Hood last week. Why didn't he play in Sunday's game against the Vikings?

David H.
Lowell, Indiana

Veteran defensive lineman Ziggy Hood just resumed practicing last week for the first time since he hurt his foot in the preseason finale with the Jaguars, so I believe the Bears want him to get in better game shape and more familiar with the playbook before they put him on the field. Hood probably wouldn't have been active if defensive lineman Bruce Gaston hadn't been unable to play due to an illness. Here's what coach John Fox said Monday about Hood not playing Sunday: "We had a little bit of an unusual situation with Bruce being sick two days. He's not exactly been with us a whole length of time, and same with Ziggy. Getting them in football shape, getting them ready to play, those are factors. [Hood] was up for the game, but he did not get in the game. But it wasn't like we were at the bit to put him in. Hopefully we can get both of those guys ready as we prepare for San Diego."

I thought the Vikings deserved a running-into-the-kicker penalty late in Sunday's game on a Patrick O'Donnell punt. I believe it was on fourth-and-five and I was wondering whether a penalty—had it been called—would have given the Bears a first down.

Chris P.
Farmington Hills, Michigan

Yes, a five-yard penalty in that situation would have given the Bears a first down because Martellus Bennett gained a full five yards on a reception from Jay Cutler on the first play after Stefon Diggs' 40-yard touchdown had tied the game 20-20. I hate to say it, but I'm not so sure the officials made the wrong non-call on the punt, however, because it appeared to me that the Vikings player barely brushed up against Patrick O'Donnell and certainly didn't affect the punt or hit him.

Is it just me or is Jay Cutler not throwing as many interceptions as he usually does?

Brad S.
Zion, Illinois

It's not just you. Jay Cutler has thrown just four interceptions on 207 pass attempts so far this season. That translates to a 1.9 interception percentage, which is the best of his career. Cutler's lowest percentage for a full season is 2.2 in 2011 when he threw seven picks on 314 attempts.

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