Bears 13

(1-1, 1-1 away)

Rams 17

(1-0, 1-0 home)

8:00 PM ET, August 12, 2005


1 2 3 4 T
CHI 0 7 0 613
STL 0 7 10 017

Preseason loss proves costly for Bears

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Rex Grossman had that familiar, sinking feeling.

The Chicago Bears lost their second preseason game 17-13 to the St. Louis Rams -- but more importantly, they lost their starting quarterback for three to four months when the former Florida star broke his left ankle Friday night.

"I knew right away and I was kind of in denial to start with," Grossman said. "I tried to walk it off but I heard a pop."

Rams backup quarterback Jamie Martin threw two touchdown passes in St. Louis' preseason opener. Starter Marc Bulger went 3-for-5 for 38 yards and an interception in the first quarter.

Adrian Peterson had a 9-yard touchdown run for the Bears (1-1), playing their second game in five days; their first was a 27-24 win over Miami in the Hall of Fame game.

Grossman, the Bears' first-round pick in 2003, was hurt with 11:08 to go in the first half on a 4-yard completion to Darnell Sanders after being flushed out of the pocket by Jeremy Loyd and Trev Faulk, who spun Grossman around and dumped him.

Grossman got back to his feet but began limping and signaled for a trainer. He then sat down and grabbed his left knee in pain, slamming his helmet on the cart before being taken off the field.

"I got caught in one those situations where someone kind of twisted me and sat on my leg and you know, what are you going to do?" Grossman said. "I'm disappointed obviously, but there's nothing you can do. It doesn't help me to dwell on it."

The Bears used four quarterbacks last year and have used at least three in six of seven seasons. General manager Jerry Angelo said the team will get through this crisis and won't go shopping for a veteran.

"We're going with the hand that we dealt ourselves," Angelo said. "We said that going in and we're comfortable with it. It's unfortunate; Rex will be missed."

Bears coach Lovie Smith was the defensive coordinator for the Rams for three seasons from 2001-04, and St. Louis coach Mike Martz took the news pretty hard himself.

"I'm just heartsick about Rex Grossman," Martz said. "That's a coach's nightmare, that's a team's nightmare. To have this happen is devastating."

Grossman was 6-for-11 for 52 yards before leaving the game when it was still scoreless. Backup Chad Hutchinson produced Chicago's only first-half score, finishing the drive on which Grossman was injured.

Bears linebacker Joe Odum also left in the second quarter with a concussion sustained in a helmet-to-helmet tackle.

The first-round picks for both teams missed the game. Bears running back Cedric Benson remained a holdout and Rams offensive tackle Alex Barron didn't arrive in camp until game day after agreeing to a five-year contract two days earlier.

Grossman had been largely stifled by the Rams' rebuilt defense featuring new linebackers Chris Claiborne and Dexter Coakley. The Bears were held to one first down in their first three drives and had only one touchdown.

Rams rookie Oshiomogho Atogwe intercepted Kurt Kittner's pass from midfield in the end zone on the game's final play. It was the third takeaway by a unit that created only one turnover last year in the preseason.

The Rams won despite using only one starter on the offensive line, center Andy McCollum. Fourth-round pick Claude Terrell moved to first string right guard early in camp and Matt Willig, who has been with the team for only three days, started at right tackle.

Left tackle Orlando Pace (back) and left guard Adam Timmerman, recovering from shoulder and foot injuries from last season, did not play.

"We're still kind of a taped-together group on the offensive line," Martz said. "That'll change in the next week. We're going to get some guys back."

Martin, the Rams' 36-year-old backup, threw a 7-yard pass to Kevin Curtis with 1:23 to go in the half to tie it. He put the Rams ahead for good 14-7 with a 5-yard pass to Shaun McDonald with 10:07 left in the third.

"He's as accurate as Kurt (Warner), Marc (Bulger), Trent (Green)," Martz said. "I've always been high on Jamie. I just felt with the right preparation he'd be a very good player."

Steven Jackson, named the Rams starting running back ahead of Marshall Faulk in the offseason, had 47 yards on seven carries in the first quarter behind the patchwork line. Jackson broke a 33-yard gain on his second carry.

"Confidence is something I've never lacked," Jackson said. "Right now I'm on Cloud 9. I had a great performance."

Without him, and with backups going the rest of the way, the Rams finished with 78 yards rushing.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


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