Bears hope gimpy Gould can kick

  • Place-kicker Robbie Gould has a sore right quadriceps and his availability for Thursday's game against the Cowboys at Soldier Field is uncertain.

    Place-kicker Robbie Gould has a sore right quadriceps and his availability for Thursday's game against the Cowboys at Soldier Field is uncertain. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Updated 12/2/2014 8:54 PM

Kicker Robbie Gould (right quadriceps) and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) did not participate Tuesday in the Bears' final practice before Thursday night's game against the Cowboys (7:25 p.m., CBS-2). at Soldier Field.

But coach Marc Trestman hopes to have both available for the game.


"Robbie came up with ... (he) was sore this morning," Trestman said. "So we just rested him. We'll see where he is (Wednesday)."

Jeffery has been nursing a finicky hamstring in recent weeks but hasn't missed any game time. He was rested Tuesday "just for precautionary reasons," according to Trestman.

If Gould's situation doesn't improve, the Bears would be forced to sign a free-agent replacement Wednesday.

If Gould plays and aggravates the injury, rookie punter Pat O'Donnell would be the emergency fill-in.

"Pat practiced today," Trestman said. "So I'll leave it at that. We're hopeful."

In addition to punts, O'Donnell handled kickoffs in his three-plus years at Cincinnati and one year at Miami.

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As a senior at Palm Beach Central High School, O'Donnell kicked 7 field goals with a long of 52 yards.

"It's no new thing for me, but hopefully Robbie should be good to go," O'Donnell said. "We work on (field goals) during practice just in case a situation happens, so we're ready for it."

O'Donnell said his longest field goal in practice is around 45 yards, "but hopefully we don't have to cross that bridge."

Big shoes to fill:

With Lance Briggs out for the remainder of the season with a groin injury, second-year linebacker Jon Bostic steps into his spot on the weak side.

Bostic, who started nine games last year as a rookie, says he isn't thinking about matching the 12 years that Briggs enjoyed at the position.

"I'm just worried about the next game, getting better each and every day," said Bostic, who will make his fourth start of the season Thursday night. "Lance had a great run, and I learned so much from him."

But Bostic, who was a second-round pick in 2013, says he has a lot more to learn.

"I have a long way to go," he said. "I'm nowhere near where I want to be at, nowhere near where I need to be at.


"I have to keep working and learning from the guys around me and the coaches and see where this thing goes."

Another monster:

Last week the Lions' 6-foot-5, 241-pound wide receiver Calvin Johnson burned the Bears for 11 catchers, 146 yards and 2 touchdowns.

This week they face the Cowboys' 6-foot-2, 220-pound Dez Bryant, who's 10th in the NFL with 952 receiving yards on 67 catches (14.2-yard average) and tied for third in the league with 10 receiving TDs.

"He's a very explosive athlete," said Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. "Hypercompetitive, strong to the ball, (and) he's like a running back after the catch, he's really hard to bring down.

"He's got good speed, and he's looking to make plays. He's going to compete."

Other injuries:

Tight end Martellus Bennett (foot), cornerback Tim Jennings (groin), guard Kyle Long (calf) and defensive end Trevor Scott (knee) all were full participants in Tuesday's practice.

Defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (knee), safety Chris Conte (eye) and linebacker Darryl Sharpton (hamstring) were all limited.

Defensive end Cornelius Washington (chest) and wide receiver Chris Williams (hamstring) did not practice.


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