Lights not too bright for Sutton, Ferguson

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - With veteran defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff sitting out with a concussion Monday night, there was more responsibility on rookie tackles Will Sutton, who started in place of Ratliff, and Ego Ferguson.

"It's tough, but next man's got to come up," said 11-year veteran defensive end Jared Allen. "Unfortunately, that's part of this game. Those are big shoes to fill but we've got to fill them."

Both rookies have played in the tackle rotation as backups to starters Ratliff and Stephen Paea, and they played at critical times in the second half of the Week 2 win over the 49ers.

"(They have a) willingness to learn," Allen said, "and that Sunday night game was a big test."

Ferguson was in for 21 of 66 defensive plays, while Sutton got 31 snaps.

"The game didn't seem too big for them," Allen said. "Sometimes that can be a problem with young guys, where they sort of lose their minds out there and don't remember their technique and fundamentals. They've been doing a great job on that, and both of them are powerful."

Sutton got off to a rough start, drawing a 15-yard penalty for a late hit on Jets quarterback Geno Smith. But later in the first quarter his pressure on Smith created a sack for Ferguson that forced the Jets to settle for a field goal.

It's still early:

First-round rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller got his first NFL start in place of Charles Tillman, who was placed on injured reserve with a ruptured triceps.

Fuller had quite a night, forcing 2 fumbles and picking off a pass in the end zone in the third quarter. Both fumbles were recovered by the Jets.

Before the game, coach Marc Trestman wasn't going overboard with praise.

"With young players, let's just give this thing some time to evolve," the Bears' coach said. "He's been in the NFL for two weeks, and he's had some early success. Let's give him a chance to evolve and to grow and to see where this thing goes as we continue to work through the season."

Fuller has impressed coaches since the start of training camp with his consistent, wise-beyond-his-years approach. But, as impressive as he was in Week 2 with a pair of second-half INTs, it's a small sample size.

"We really don't have a baseline right now," Trestman said. "He's a very mature young man. He's very good at assignment football. He's learning on the run during games. He's got his feet on the ground. He's a very even-keeled, emotionally intelligent young man."

Not judging:

Defensive end Jared Allen was teammates with running back Adrian Peterson for six years with the Minnesota Vikings. Peterson is on the Commissioner Exempt list after an indictment on child-abuse charges for using a switch to discipline his 4-year-old son.

"The guy I knew is a good, hard man," Allen said. "He's always treated (me) with respect, my wife with respect ... he's come over to the house for Bible study.

"I honestly believe (that) good people make mistakes. I don't know the facts, the details. I don't pretend to pass judgment. I've got my beliefs, and the way I do things, but I'm not one to condemn others and place judgment on them when I don't know all the information."

Sitting it out:

Monday's inactives were: defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion), linebacker Shea McClellin (hand), guard Matt Slauson (ankle), center Roberto Garza (ankle), cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad), defensive end Trevor Scott (foot) and offensive tackle Charles Leno (coach's decision).

Jon Bostic started in place of McClellin at strong-side linebacker and rookie Will Sutton made his first NFL start in place of Ratliff. For the second straight game, Brian de la Puente started for Garza at center and Michael Ola was at left guard in place of Slauson.

Hurtin' for certain:

Fullback Tony Fiametta (hamstring) and safties Ryan Mundy (shoulder) and Chris Conte (shoulder) were injured Monday night.

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