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Thursday, November 6, 2008
Black and Blue all over: The backup's backup

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Yes, Chicago quarterback Kyle Orton refused to rule himself out of Sunday's game against Tennessee. But if everything follows the most likely scenario, with Orton sitting and Rex Grossman starting, the Bears' game day backup would be rookie free agent Caleb Hanie.

A prospect originally destined for the practice squad, Hanie put forth a preseason performance that forced the Bears' hand. Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald points out the highlights.

"I feel like I am ready," Hanie said, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Am I completely ready to make all the right checks and everything? Probably not. But I think I am ready to get in there, make some plays and make smart decisions."

Orton didn't practice Wednesday and almost certainly won't see the field Thursday. But it's unlikely, as David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune points out, that the Bears will drop the charade of his potential availability for Sunday's game. It's all part of a carefully orchestrated script to keep the Titans guessing.

Continuing around the NFC North: