Bears' Marshall will miss rest of season

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall suffered two fractured ribs and lung damage that required hospitalization after being hit by Cowboys strong safety Barry Church on Thursday at Soldier Field. Marshall will miss the final three games because of the injury.

    Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall suffered two fractured ribs and lung damage that required hospitalization after being hit by Cowboys strong safety Barry Church on Thursday at Soldier Field. Marshall will miss the final three games because of the injury. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 12/8/2014 8:55 PM

Brandon Marshall's disappointing and injury-marred season is officially over.

The five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver was hospitalized after suffering two fractured ribs and lung damage in last Thursday's loss to the Cowboys.

 

Marshall is out of Northwestern Memorial Hospital but will miss the final three games.

His absence gives second-year wideout Marquess Wilson his best opportunity yet to make an impact on an offense that has struggled most of the season.

He is expected to start opposite Alshon Jeffery.

"We'll move him around," said Bears coach Marc Trestman. "Give him different places to come off the line of scrimmage and elevate his game in terms of when we target him."

The spindly, 6-foot-4, 184-pound Wilson has an enviable height-speed-vertical jump combination that makes him a dangerous down-the-field threat.

But he will struggle to get a quick release off the line of scrimmage against physical cornerbacks.

Wilson had 2 catches for 19 yards after Marshall was injured against the Cowboys and has 5 receptions for 40 yards this season after missing the first nine games following a fractured collar bone suffered during training camp.

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Wilson had been penciled in as the No. 3 wide receiver before his injury.

"I think he's off and running," Trestman said. "He knew how he would be targeted as we got him involved, and certainly that'll grow with Brandon out.

"I'm excited about seeing where Marquess goes over the next few weeks and how he does."

Marshall, who battled a sprained ankle for several weeks but started each of the first 13 games, ends his season with 61 catches for 721 yards, by far his lowest numbers since his rookie season in 2006.

But he is tied for the team lead with 8 receiving touchdowns.

Best man wins:

Rookies Ryan Groy and Michael Ola will compete during the week to start at left guard against the Saints next Monday night.

Ola started his 11th game Thursday against Dallas but was benched in the second quarter in favor of Groy.

"We'll see how the line defines itself as we work through Saturday," coach Marc Trestman said. "But they'll both get work."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Ola started Games 2-4 at left guard when Matt Slauson went down with a sprained ankle, and he played the next two games at left tackle when Jermon Bushrod was out with knee and ankle injuries.

The 6-foot-4, 312-pound two-year veteran of the Canadian Football League also started three games at right tackle when Jordan Mills had foot problems.

In the last two games he was back at left guard, where he also started in Game 9.

The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Groy played 54 games at Wisconsin, including 33 starts.

Just for kicks:

Kicker Robbie Gould is day to day with a right quadriceps injury that kept him out Thursday night against Dallas.

Coach Marc Trestman was optimistic that the eighth-most-accurate field goal kicker in NFL history would be back when the Bears return to the practice field Thursday.

Fill-in Jay Feely had 1 of his 3 extra-point attempts against the Cowboys blocked.

"Jay's still in town, and we'll see where we're at," Trestman said.

New additions:

Wide receiver Josh Bellamy was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and linebacker Jonathan Brown was added to the practice squad.

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