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updated: 11/25/2013 7:57 PM

Short-yardage mistakes toss Bears for a loss

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  • St. Louis Rams defensive end William Hayes celebrates after Bears running back Michael Bush was stopped short of the end zone for a 4-yard loss Sunday.

    St. Louis Rams defensive end William Hayes celebrates after Bears running back Michael Bush was stopped short of the end zone for a 4-yard loss Sunday.
    Associated Press


On the last Bears' touchdown drive, it took Michael Bush 4 attempts from a yard out to get into the end zone, clearly dispelling the notion that he's a short-yardage specialist.

His 7 carries Sunday against the St. Louis Rams totaled minus-5 yards, and for the season he has 69 yards on 42 carries, a 1.6-yard average with a long run of 9 yards.

"Michael Bush was pretty effective a few weeks ago in Green Bay (7 carries for 25 yards, a 3.6-yard average)," coach Marc Trestman said. "It's not just Michael. It's everybody working together. There's a lot more involved. There's blocking, there's angles, there's double-teams."

On the Bears' first possession of the second half, Trestman went for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal at the Rams' one-yard line, but Bush was thrown for a 4-yard loss.

Tight end Martellus Bennett said the goal line failures were more a problem with execution than anything else.

"Goal line doesn't come down to the plays drawn up," Bennett said. "It comes down to guys just having (guts) and just going down and (playing) smash-mouth football. It's not really about the way it's diagramed or anything like that. It's about everybody just digging in and doing what you can.

"Those guys are trying to penetrate, and everybody needs to get low and just go straight ahead and knock a guy out."

Injury update:

Quarterback Jay Cutler (ankle) and linebacker Lance Briggs won't play this week, but coach Marc Trestman is "optimistic" that running back Matt Forte will not miss a game with a slight hyperextension of his knee. Forte rushed for 77 yards on 16 carries against the Rams (4.8-yard average) and caught 7 passes for 40 yards (5.7-yard average).

"Jay remains week to week, and there's nothing other than a high ankle sprain involved here, I want to make that very clear," said Marc Trestman, who expects Cutler back, although he's not sure when.

"I'm totally confident he'll play again this season," the coach said. "I don't have any reason based on what I've been told (to think he won't). I think Jay is confident. There is no underlying information here. It's week-to-week with the understanding that at some point in time, on a week-to-week basis, that he'll be back."

Defensive tackle Stephen Paea will test his turf toe on Wednesday, and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff "will continue to practice and we'll evaluate him through the week," Trestman said.

Close for a while:

When the Bears cut the Rams' lead to 27-21 with 7:15 remaining Sunday, they appeared poised to complete what would have been an impressive comeback after trailing by 14 twice and 13 once.

But the Rams had little difficulty slicing through the Bears' defense for 80 yards in seven plays and a touchdown with 4:10 to play to secure the victory.

"We were trying to get to a point where, when we kicked off, we could take a stand," coach Marc Trestman said. "We just didn't get it done for a number of reasons, and there's no one guy who's responsible. We always say, 'If it's one, it's all,' and each and every guy has got to be in the right spot.

"Everybody takes equal accountability in getting it done. We didn't do it."

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