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updated: 8/29/2011 8:45 PM

Bears RB Taylor going, going ... but not quite gone

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  • After scoring only 3 touchdowns last season and averaging just 2.4 yards per rushing attempt, Chester Taylor is expected to be released by the Bears.

      After scoring only 3 touchdowns last season and averaging just 2.4 yards per rushing attempt, Chester Taylor is expected to be released by the Bears.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Bears running back Chester Taylor did not play in Saturday's preseason game at Tennessee and missed Monday's practice.

      Bears running back Chester Taylor did not play in Saturday's preseason game at Tennessee and missed Monday's practice.
    Associated Press

  • Chester Taylor jumps over a teammate as New York Giants' Dave Tollefson tries to make the tackle during their NFL preseason football game on Aug. 22. The Bears are expected to release Taylor, who didn't report to practice on Monday.

      Chester Taylor jumps over a teammate as New York Giants' Dave Tollefson tries to make the tackle during their NFL preseason football game on Aug. 22. The Bears are expected to release Taylor, who didn't report to practice on Monday.
    Associated Press

 
 

Chester Taylor has not been released by the Bears -- yet.

The 10-year veteran running back did not play in Saturday night's third preseason game, and he was not at practice Monday.

But he is still a member of the team according to coach Lovie Smith, who met with Taylor Monday morning but failed to convey that message.

"I talked to Chester a little bit early on," Smith said. "I guess there was a misunderstanding on what we talked about. Chester Taylor is still a part of the team. I talked to Chester about the reasons why he didn't get any playing time the last game, and that was that we wanted to take a look at some other players. Evidently he took that the wrong way. But hopefully we'll get him back out here (today)."

Taylor has just 6 preseason carries for 10 yards. Last year, after signing a four-year, $12.5 million deal that paid him $7 million in 2010, he averaged just 2.4 yards per carry on 112 attempts.

"If a player is released, I'll tell him, 'You're released, thank you.' That's not the case," Smith said. "Misunderstanding. I thought we had a good conversation. I guess it didn't go quite like I thought it did. As far as what's going to happen later on, we have cuts (to the final 53) coming up (Saturday). We'll let everybody know who's a part of (the team). They'll know then."

Taylor was the top backup to Matt Forte last year, but he appears to have been passed on the depth chart by unrestricted free agent Marion Barber and third-year player Kahlil Bell. Unless Barber's calf injury is more serious than originally thought, there is no room for Taylor.

Barber, a seven-year veteran, has 21 preseason carries for 96 yards, a 4.6-yard average.

The Bears would like to get a draft pick in trade for Taylor, but he will most likely be cut by Saturday. A possible landing spot for him is with the Vikings, where he backed up Adrian Peterson before signing with the Bears.

There was one:

Many of his teammates assumed Chester Taylor had been released when he wasn't in the locker room before practice or at morning meetings.

"It's always sad to see a fellow running back leave," said Kahlil Bell, who leads the Bears with 28 rushing attempts and 131 yards, for a 4.7-yard average and appears to have won the No. 3 job. "I wouldn't say I'm happy about it; I don't think anybody is. But all I can control is what I can control, and that's all I plan on doing, oing out there and doing the best I can do."

Center Roberto Garza said: "It's a tough loss for us. But honestly, the other guys are going to step up and we wish him well."

First cuts:

Two veterans, defensive end Vernon Gholston and defensive tackle Tank Tyler, were among the five cuts Monday as the Bears got down to the 80-man roster limit a day early.

The Bears also said goodbye to three undrafted rookies, linebacker Tanner Antle, center J.C. Brignone and quarterback Trevor Vittatoe.

On the mend:

Devin Hester (soreness), Marion Barber (calf), Lance Briggs (knee), Sam Hurd (ankle), Kellen Davis (back), Desmond Clark (knee), Anthony Adams (calf) and Corey Wootton (knee) did not practice Monday.

Briggs, Adams, Davis, Clark and Wootton will not play in Thursday's preseason finale.

• Follow Bob LeGere's Bears report via Twitter@BobLeGere. He will have more on the Bears roster cuts throughout the day.

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