Barth checking missing ingredient
Connor Barth went into the Bears’ bye week having missed two of his last four field- goal attempts and four of his last 10.
He came out of the bye week, somewhat surprisingly, with his job intact.
“It’s been a little up and down,” special- teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers said Thursday. “Good start, right? The first kick of the season was good from [ 54 yards]. He’s had some other good kicks and a game- winner, obviously.
“But a little bit inconsistent in some spots. And we just have to get back to being consistent as far as making kicks.”
Rodgers and Barth have watched tape of his misses — three of which have come from between 40 and 49 yards — and found technical areas that need more consistency.
Still, Barth can’t afford to miss many more.
“I would say that most specialists that have been around as long as he has certainly know their swing and how to correct it better than anyone,” Rodgers said.
Thinking of No. 86
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and running back Jordan Howard wore Zach Miller’s No. 86 practice jersey — the former in white, the latter in navy — as a tribute to their teammate.
“To support him, let him know — and let the team know — that we still got him, and we’re still going to fight for him,” said McPhee, who credited Howard for the idea. “We can put the season on the line just for him.”
Miller was transferred from New Orleans to a Chicago- area hospital Monday and will remain there “for a little bit more time,” coach John Fox said.
He had procedures on his dislocated knee this week, said Fox, who hopes to see him Friday.
Cornerback Kyle Fuller could have looked to an official to check on whether he was onside before trying to block a Saints field goal, Rodgers said.
Fuller was whistled offside, giving the Saints a first down on their first drive. They scored a touchdown on the next play.
“That’s something we try to encourage our players to do for themselves, then to look down the line and ensure the rest of our guys are lined up correctly,” Rodgers said. “But the coaching point is, ‘ Just line up on our side of the ball.’ ”
Wide receiver Markus Wheaton ( groin), who was limited Wednesday, was a full practice participant, clearing the way for him to play Sunday.
Cornerbacks Bryce Callahan ( knee) and Sherrick McManis ( hamstring), defensive end Roy Robertson- Harris ( hamstring) and offensive lineman Tom Compton ( ankle) did not practice. Guard Kyle Long ( finger) was limited a second consecutive day.
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Bears kicker Connor Barth has missed two of his last four field- goal attempts and four of his last 10. | ROB CARR/ GETTY IMAGES