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Despite losing his starting spot at left defensive end to Corey Wootton, Israel Idonije continues to be overlooked on that defensive line.
The demotion for Idonije was more about making it more competitive along the defensive line, which didn't seem to phase him (h/t Chicago Tribune):
Nothing's changed for me,'' Idonije said. "I go out and play the snaps that I'm in. My snaps haven't changed. I still have the same amount of snaps. I just have to produce.''
Through the team's first 13 games, he has 5.5 sacks, inching closer to his career high of 8 back in 2010.
Despite the defense's breakdown against the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago, Idonije has been solid against the run and has found himself working not just on the outside, but also on the inside, particularly on third down situations where the Bears try to get first round draft pick, Shea McClellin, more involved.
Idonije's contributions often go unnoticed when playing opposite of a guy like Julius Peppers or next to a guy like Henry Melton. He has been far more explosive off of the football this year in comparison to the past and it forces teams to not always be able to double up or chip Peppers because of what he is doing on the opposite side.
He is not the fastest guy, but he creates pressure with regularity and is arguably the Bear's best defensive end against the run. If they want a chance to not only go to the playoffs and be successful when they get there, Idonije will have to continue to play the way that he has along that defensive line.