Bears miss Allen's presence vs. Packers
Jared Allen is back in the building.
After a reported bout with pneumonia that kept him sidelined all of last week, the 11th-year veteran defensive end was a welcome sight for a team looking for a pass rush that went missing over the weekend.
Allen has yet to register his first sack this year, but he has more sacks over the previous 10 years than anyone in the NFL.
Without his presence in Sunday's 38-17 loss, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was able to sit in the proverbial rocking chair and dissect a Bears secondary that isn't good enough to cover elite wide receivers indefinitely.
Although the Bears didn't practice Monday, Allen was in meetings and able to lift weights at Halas Hall.
"It was good to see him in the building," coach Marc Trestman said. "That's encouraging."
Trestman said Allen is day to day but did not confirm a FOX Sports report that Allen lost 18 pounds last week.
"I don't know where that report came from," said Trestman, who was then asked if Allen looked skinny. "He always looks skinny to me," the Bears' coach said.
But not as thin as the Bears' pass rush Sunday. After getting 8 sacks in their first three games with Allen playing 91 percent of the snaps, the Bears had 1 sack against the Packers. And even that was tainted, as it came on a play where Rodgers escaped the rush but was chased out of bounds by rookie tackle Ego Ferguson at the line of scrimmage.
Without Allen to at least occupy the attention of the opposing O-line, the Bears' pass-rush pressure from the edges was nonexistent. Left end Lamarr Houston was as invisible as a 300-pound man can be. The Bears signed Houston to a five-year, $35 million deal in the off-season, but the best thing Trestman could say about his performance was that he tried hard.
"I think they were obviously playing close attention to him," Trestman said. "I thought he played extremely hard. Statistically, that's not going to show up, obviously. We'd like to see more 'show up,' but his effort level throughout the game was extremely high."
Willie Young, who filled in for Allen, failed to increase his team-best total of 4 sacks. Backup Trevor Scott, like Houston, did not appear anywhere on the stat page.
"We didn't get any kind of extensive pass rush," Trestman said. "We didn't win the 1-on-1s inside when we had the opportunities. (Rodgers) just had too much time. We rushed four. We did very little blitzing. We felt like the best way to beat him was to try and get a pass rush and play coverage behind him.
"But we didn't get the pass rush we needed, and then, when those moments came, he was able to extend the play and make plays on the move with his legs and his arm."
In addition to the lack of sacks, the Bears weren't credited with a single hit on Rodgers, and there was just 1 tackle for negative yardage. Trestman said Allen's absence shouldn't factor into what was a poor defensive performance across the board.
"We're not making excuses for that," Trestman said. "Every team has injury issues this time of the season. The fact of the matter is, we weren't able to have a sustainable rush. They were able to keep Aaron clean for the entire game. We've got to get back and get on the edges the way we did the previous two weeks."
The Bears' inability to generate any pass-rush pressure Sunday is discouraging with the Carolina Panthers and physically freaky quarterback Cam Newton next on the schedule.
On the positive side, the Bears are back on the road, where they're 2-0.
• Follow Bob's Bears and NFL reports on Twitter@BobLeGere.