Bears reserves shine in preseason finale

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Third-string quarterback Josh McCown threw for two touchdowns and backup running backs Armando Allen and Lorenzo Booker combined for 164 yards as the Chicago Bears wrapped up the preseason with a 28-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns Thursday night. For the what it’s worth category, the Bears finished the preseason 3-1, and are now 19-18 in exhibition play during Lovie Smith’s tenure.

McCown, playing the whole game, was sharp, completing 20 of 29 passes for 157 yards and touchdowns to wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher and Allen. Sanzenbacher’s catch, which should solidify a roster spot, was a diving, one-handed grab in the first quarter following an interception by Bears rookie safety Jeremy Jones off of Cleveland’s Colt McCoy. Allen and Booker, battling for the third running back spot, played impressively and will make the final decision as who to keep difficult. Smith noticed both in their final audition. “Booker and Allen stepped up and made play after play. This was a Super Bowl for a bunch of players tonight.”  Allen gained 86 yards and displayed the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Booker ran for 81 yards despite leaving in the fourth quarter with a head injury.

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Chicago’s defense took advantage of Cleveland mistakes, including a interception returned for a score by rookie seventh-round draft choice Greg McCoy and a blocked punt for a touchdown by undrafted free agent wide receiver Brittan Golden.

Extra Points: Besides Booker, defensive tackle Brian Price, who began to round into shape late in camp and provides a push in the middle, and backup linebacker Xavier Adibi, left with minor injuries. …The Bears need to reach the 53 man roster limit by 9pm EST Friday. The eight man practice squad can be established on Sunday…..Injured DT Stephen Paea went through an extensive workout with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli on the field prior to the game. Paea has been out the last two weeks with a foot injury, but hopes to be back practicing next week.