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Bears Beat Browns in Final Tune-Up

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Sep 2, 2011 2:30PM

Photo by Joshua Mellin
The Bears hosted Cleveland in their final preseason tune-up last night before their Sept. 11 regular season opener. The Bears beat the Browns 24-14 to finish the exhibition slate 2-2.

With the regular season near and the depth chart just about decided, Bears' starters played sparingly last night. Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and Brian Urlacher never made it past the sidelines as only nine of the team's 22 projected starters played. And many of those were done for the night before the first quarter ended.

This meant the backups had a chance to show their stuff. Cutler's backup, Caleb Hanie, impressed by completing 7-of-10 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Hanie connected with Johnny Knox in the corner of the end zone on a 19-yard pass for the TD which gave the Bears an early 10-0 lead before third stringer Nathan Enderle took over under center. Undrafted rookie Dane Sanzenbacher appears to have locked up the final spot at wide receiver after catching four balls for 50 yards.

Chester Taylor, who sat the entire previous game as the Bears looked to move him, played but managed just 27 yards on 10 carries. His chances to make the team looked better momentarily when Kahlil Bell went down with an injury, but it's not expected to be serious so it should offer Taylor no protection. Meanwhile running back Robert Hughes tried to make his case by scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 69 yards on 16 carries to lead the team.

The Bears accomplished their primary goal, which was the keep their key players healthy. Other than Bell and a minor injury to safely Craig Steltz, the Bears finished the preseason in good health. They now prepare to trim the roster down from 79 to 53 and gear up for their opener against the Atlanta Falcons.