CHAMPAIGN—Defensive end Phillip Daniels and cornerback R.W. McQuarters were injured in Sunday's season opener. Their status for Game 2 against the Atlanta Falcons is uncertain.
Daniels sprained his left ankle in the first quarter. He was on crutches with his ankle in a walking cast after the game.
Veteran Keith McKenzie, who as a member of the Browns was out most of last season with a broken ankle, stepped in for Daniels.
McQuarters said he has a sprained ligament in his left knee.
Sprained knees routinely cause players to miss up to four weeks, so the Bears might have to scramble to replace their most experienced defensive back.
Guard Chris Villarrial started despite a broken right thumb in a cast. During the second quarter, he came out for several series while doctors re-cast the thumb.
Exactly how long does a cast need to set before you can play?
"We didn't worry about it," Villarrial said, laughing. "We just re-cast it and I just got back out there."
Colvin: Vikings' change resulted in final sack
Rosevelt Colvin beat left tackle Everett Lindsay for the sack of quarterback Daunte Culpepper that resulted in a fumble and the end of the Vikings' chances.
It was one of the first times that Colvin had been able to mount a rush without needing to deal with a tight end or back in addition to the tackle.
"They had been chipping us all day, double-teaming with a back and the tackle coming off on us," Colvin said. "The last play they took the back off and had him on the other side and I had a free rush on the guy and just ran around the corner.
"When they took him away I kind of got a little excited because I knew it was just going to be me and him, one on one. I was trying for the strip. I didn't really care about knocking him down because it was the end of the game. I wanted to get the ball on the ground and win the game."
Robertson praised for protecting Miller
Starting left tackle Bernard Robertson drew praise from teammates after a strong performance in his first regular-season game. The Bears did nothing special to help Robertson because "he hasn't given us a reason to yet," right tackle James "Big Cat" Williams said.
"He's a true veteran now," quarterback Jim Miller said. "He made it through."
Robertson was called for a holding penalty at the end of the third quarter. He spent most of the time during the change of ends talking to referee Mike Carey about the infraction.
"I was just asking him what it was that made him make the call," Robertson said. "He told me and said, 'Just don't do it again.' I'm still learning."
Defense OK in keeping Culpepper in check
Linebacker Warrick Holdman was among several Bears charged with the task of keeping an eye on Culpepper. The mobile quarterback ran four times for only 2 yards.
"He didn't really scramble as much as we thought he would," Holdman said. "He sat back and was throwing it."
Knight quietly goes about his 1st game
Rookie linebacker Bryan Knight was used as the outside pass rusher in long-yardage situations and responded with the recovery of his first NFL fumble after Colvin's sack and strip of Culpepper.
"It was a heck of an experience for my first game as a rookie, coming out playing against stars I'd watched on TV, like Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper," Knight said. "But just to be out there on the field with them wasn't good enough. I want to be out there and contribute.
"The only time I looked at them was when I was on the sideline and I saw Randy Moss and was like, 'Wow, that's Randy Moss.' But he's just another human being just like me."
The rookie class of '02 wasn't expected to have a lot impact early. Only Knight, tackle Marc Colombo and safety Bobby Gray were active from the seven Bears draft choices on the roster.