Zack Bowman won't play vs. Bills

Updated: November 5, 2010, 6:45 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears conducted their final tuneup for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills in Toronto without cornerback Zack Bowman, who has missed practice all week because of a sprained foot.

The Bears officially ruled Bowman out for the matchup. Bears coach Lovie Smith also revealed that tight end Desmond Clark suffered a stinger on Thursday, but indicated he will be available for Sunday's game.

"Anxious to play the game, [it] seems like forever since we played a football game," Smith said. "The guys had a great week of practice. I think we're ready to go. You have concerns every time you go out. You just have to go on what you see in practice. Our guys have been locked in, [and we're] anxious to go out and correct some things that we've been doing wrong."

Having entered the season as the Bears' top corner opposite Charles Tillman, Bowman hasn't started a game since a Sept. 27 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The Bears pulled Bowman during that outing, replacing him with Tim Jennings, who has started the past four games.

Bowman worked his way back into the rotation, before suffering a setback in the fourth quarter of the Bears' loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 17. Bowman appeared poised to return this week, but his recovery hasn't gone according to plan.

Bowman's extended absence has equated to more repetitions for Corey Graham, a Buffalo native, and special-teams standout. Graham leads the Bears with 13 stops on special teams.

Clark, meanwhile, has been inactive for three of the past four games.

With the Bears having dropped three of their past four, Smith considers Sunday's game key in setting up momentum for their stretch run toward a shot at the postseason.

"This is a big stretch for us. Football really starts in November," Smith said. "You get yourself in position before then. We're in position to make a run. It doesn't do a whole lot of good to talk about stuff though. We need to get to the game. This team you see on the football field this Sunday should be able to go someplace."

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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