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Hayden to replace injured Jennings

Posted by Larry Mayer on December 7, 2012 – 1:46 pm

Bears cornerback Tim Jennings did not practice Friday and was ruled out of Sunday’s game in Minnesota with a shoulder injury he sustained in last weekend’s overtime loss to the Seahawks.

With Jennings out, veteran Kelvin Hayden will make his first start of the season. The Chicago native signed with his hometown team in April after spending his first seven NFL seasons with the Colts (2005-10) and Falcons (2011), appearing in 85 games with 47 starts.

“Kelvin has played a lot of ball,” said coach Lovie Smith. “This is not his first time starting or anything like that. Tim eventually will be back, but in the meantime Kelvin will step up.”

Hayden was selected by the Colts in the second round of the 2005 draft. The highlight of his career came in Super Bowl XLI when he intercepted a Rex Grossman pass and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown to help lead Indianapolis to a 29-17 win over the Bears.

“He’s been in this system,” said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. “Not just here, but in Indy. He understands the system. He’s a good player. It’s his chance to step up and really go right now. He’s started in a Super Bowl and all of those things. He’s going to do fine.”

In other injury news, receivers Alshon Jeffery (knee) and Devin Hester (concussion) practiced without restrictions Friday and were listed as probable for Sunday’s game. Jeffery has missed six of the last seven games, while Hester sat out last Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks.

“Early in the week they were a little banged up,” Smith said. “Each day it got a little bit better. Today for the most part they were able to do most of the stuff that we ask them to do.”

Running back Michael Bush (ribs), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (foot) and guard Chris Spencer (knee) were limited and listed as questionable, but all three are expected to be available Sunday.

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