CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett said a pregame conversation with teammate Brandon Marshall prompted the duo to wear orange cleats in the club's 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
The NFL ruled last year the orange cleats were a violation of the league's uniform policy and fined Bennett a combined $15,000 for wearing the banned shoes in a pair of regular season games. Bennett stopped wearing the orange cleats after the NFL told him they would keep increasing the fines and begin to penalize the Bears for a delay of game and eject Bennett if he continued to wear the unauthorized shoes.
"It actually came about when I walked in the locker room (before the game) because I had them in my bag, and I wasn't sure if I was going to wear them," Bennett said. "Then Brandon Marshall was like, 'Let's wear them,' so I just put them on. I probably wouldn't have worn them if he wouldn't have agreed to it."
Bennett hopes the fact he wore pink shoelaces to honor the NFL's breast cancer awareness month will help persuade the league not to fine him for his choice in foot apparel.
"Well I had pink shoelaces, though," Bennett said. "That could sway it. We'll see. Hopefully they don't fine me. I did have the pink on for breast cancer awareness."
Bennett returned to the field after missing the Bears' previous two games due to a hand injury. The fifth-year wideout was targeted six times and caught three passes for 27 yards.
"It was a lot of fun to get back out there and make plays and help us move the ball," Bennett said. "We didn't have the production in the passing game we wanted tonight, but we ran the ball well enough to win."