Chicago Bears' rookies doing just fine
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Coach John Fox doesn't buy the concept of rookies hitting the proverbial wall late in their first NFL seasons.
Four rookies started Thursday night: center Hroniss Grasu, nose tackle Eddie Goldman, safety Adrian Amos and Khari Lee, who replaced injured Martellus Bennett.
Running back Jeremy Langford started the previous two games when Matt Forte was hurt, and Lee started four times previously when the Bears opened games with multiple tight ends.
Cornerback Bryce Callahan, wide receiver Cam Meredith and safety Harold Jones-Quartey have played significant backup roles.
"I don't put much stock in whether they're a rookie or not," Fox said. "It's just newness and being able to get themselves out there.
"A lot of it is your mind. Some of it's actual. It's like running the mile, and then all of a sudden, you're running the two mile.
"You train different. You build different kinds of fitness systems. I think our guys do a great job; our young guys are all pretty good."
Nine rookies have started games this season.
Amos has started all 11, followed by Goldman (8), Lee (5), Grasu (4), Langford (2), linebacker Jonathan Anderson (2), Jones-Quartey (2), running back Ka'Deem Carey (1) and Callahan (1).
Worth waiting for:
First-round draft pick Kevin White appears to be a long way from a full practice and even further from playing in a game.
But coach John Fox has been impressed with the way the wide receiver has handled his difficult injury situation.
"He's been in meetings," Fox said. "He's a high-football-character guy. He wants to get better and progress. He (has) a true professional mindset.
"He's right on schedule. It's not a lack of effort by any stretch. He wants to play football. He's a football player."
White has surgery in August to stabilize stress fractures in his left shin and returned to practice Tuesday. The Bears have 21 days from that time to either add him to the 53-man roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
The Bears will be ultraconservative with White, but offensive coordinator Adam Gase loves what the 6-foot-3, 217-pound speedster brings to the table.
"He's an explosive guy who can create big plays after short throws," Gase said. "A guy that has an all-around game, from the run game, to being a downfield threat, and an underneath, catch-and-run-type guy.
"We'll just kind of see if that comes true."
Stopping the slide:
The last time the Packers led the series with the Bears was in 1933, but the Bears' lead was in jeopardy.
Their edge over the Packers in the most-often-played rivalry in the NFL has been dwindling over the past couple of decades and was down to 93-92-6 at game time. But Thursday night's thrilling victory gives them a little breathing room.
The 29-yard run by Packers running back Eddie Lacy on the opening possession was his longest of the season. Safety Adrian Amos' missed tackle allowed Lacy to pick up an extra 14 yards. … After playing an entire game last week without a penalty for the first time in 20 years, the Bears were penalized 12 times for 95 yards vs. the Packers who were flagged three times for 38 yards.
Sitting it out:
Tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs), safety Antrel Rolle (knee), wide receiver Eddie Royal (knee) and defensive lineman Will Sutton, who have started a combined 29 games, were all inactive. Sutton did not have an announced injury.
Chris Prosinski, who forced a fumble, started for the second straight game for Rolle, while wide receiver Marquess Wilson got his sixth start.
Also inactive were running back Ka'Deem Carey (concussion), cornerback Jacoby Glenn and offensive lineman Nick Becton.