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Chicago Bears' special teams takes big hit with injuries

Chicago will have to defeat the Packers without the help of three top specialists.


The Chicago Bears will enter Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers shorthanded on special teams after placing three players on injured reserve. The headliner is kicker Robbie Gould, who strained his calf in pre-game warmups prior to last week's loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He is joined by safeties Craig Steltz (chest) and Sherrick McManis (knee), two key members of the coverage teams.

In place of Gould, who has kicked for the Bears in 122 consecutive games, is veteran Olindo Mare, a free agent who was signed by the Bears on Tuesday. Mare has not kicked in the NFL this year, but spent all of last season as the kicker for the Carolina Panthers. In 2011, Mare was 22-28 on field goals, but with a long of only 45 yards. He was perfect from inside 30 yards, missed three kicks inside 40 yards, one from inside 50 and both of his attempts from outside 50 yards.

McManis, meanwhile, was third on the Bears this season with 10 special teams tackles, while Stetz had five.