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Bears Make Cuts; Taylor Out

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Bears Make Cuts; Taylor Out

The Chicago Bears made it official and let running back Chester Taylor go, bringing an expected end to a wild chain of events.

Taylor, who appeared to be on the way out for a while, hinted he was finished in Chicago early in the week.

He did not play in the third preseason game at Tennessee and left team headquarters thinking he had been released after a meeting with coach Lovie Smith on Monday. He was back practicing the next day and started the exhibition-finale against Cleveland on Thursday, struggling for 27 yards on 10 attempts.

He said afterward he wasn't sure about his future in Chicago.

"I still love football," he said Thursday. "I still love playing the game. I still believe I can help a team win."

The Bears signed Taylor in 2010 to a four-year, $12.5 million contract with $7 million guaranteed, hoping he would push Matt Forte. Instead, he ran for just 267 yards while averaging a career-low 2.4 per carry.

That wasn't what the Bears had in mind on that blockbuster day when they reeled in Taylor along with Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers and blocking tight end Brandon Manumaleuna.

Peppers delivered as expected, but he is the last Bear standing in that group. Chicago cut Manumaleuna in late July, and now, Taylor is gone.

If there was any doubt he was on shaky ground in Chicago, it got wiped away when the team signed Marion Barber and added him to the mix behind Forte. Barber's now the No. 2 running back and with third-stringer Kahlil Bell contributing on special teams, there was no room for Taylor.

Also cut Saturday was tight end Desmond Clark. The Bears also waived defensive tackle Marcus Harrison and eight other players while placing rookie linebacker J.T. Thomas on injured reserve with a hip problem.

Fullback Harvey Unga was placed on the reserve/left squad list, meaning he does not count against the 53-man roster. He left the team twice this preseason -- to be with his wife for the birth of their second child and for personal reasons -- and is not being paid.

Among the players who made the cut were former Ohio State star Dane Sanzenbacher, an undrafted rookie who was second on the team in receptions (10) and yards receiving (107) during the preseason.

Clark was seldom used last season but re-signed with the Bears soon after camp started. He bruised his left knee in that preseason game at Tennessee on a brutal hit by safety Anthony Smith while trying to make a catch in the third preseason game and was placed Saturday on the terminated/injured list, although he had indicated the injury was not as severe as it appeared to be.

The Bears will go with Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth at tight end along with undrafted rookie Kyle Adams, who's also a fullback.

Clark ranks ninth in team history with 242 catches, 20th in yards receiving with 2,639 and has 18 touchdown catches since joining the Bears in 2003. He also played for Denver and Miami, and has 323 catches for 3,591 yards with 27 TDs in 12 seasons. The 6-3, 316-pound Harrison, a third-round draft pick by the Bears in 2008, showed up to camp out of shape for the second time in three years. He appeared in 37 games and made nine starts for Chicago.

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