Asante Samuel: Absence Greatly Felt in Loss to Bears
Due to a knee injury suffered in the win over the New York Giants, Asante Samuel was unable to play this Sunday against the Bears. His absence was clearly felt.
In place of the injured Samuel, Joselio Hanson made the start while rookie Trevard Lindley stepped into Hanson's usual role as the nickel corner. The change in personnel was clearly a downgrade and it showed big-time on the field.
The Bears' interception-prone quarterback, Jay Cutler, was able to throw for 247 yards on the day and piled up four touchdowns. He only needed to complete 14 passes on the day to get the job done.
Using a variety of receivers, Cutler was able to make some quick throws that translated into big plays for the Bears. He was able to take advantage of the rookie Lindley in situations that Lindley wouldn't have been on the field for if Samuel was in the lineup.
Hanson played poorly in the start as well, as he was often out of position. It seemed as though he was having a tough time getting his footing right on the Soldier Field grass, and failed to make an adjustment through the course of the game.
With Samuel not playing, Hanson and Lindley really needed to step their game up. However, it simply didn't happen. I didn't think Samuel's absence would be felt as greatly as it was, as the Bears are more of a run-first type offense and don't have any big-name receivers.
When you take away Samuel, you take away the league leader in interceptions and a guy who has been shutting down wide receivers all year. Say what you will about his inability to tackle, but at the end of the day, Samuel has consistently proven that he can take receivers out of the game, and has been a turnover machine.
Samuel was a limited participant in practice today and his status for Thursday is still up in the air. With Texans receiver Andre Johnson dodging a suspension for his fight with Cortland Finnegan, having Samuel in the lineup would definitely be a huge advantage.
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