SOUTH BEND, IND., JAN. 6 -- A warming trend is expected for the Chicago area, although anything above zero degrees would be an improvement. Today, the Chicago Bears heard the first extended forecast for Sunday's playoff game with the Washington Redskins at Soldier Field, and the high that day is supposed to be in the low teens. That brought a lot of whoops and hollers here because today's high in Chicago was 2 degrees, with a wind-chill factor of minus-28.
Still, it could be murder Sunday for players who have to sit on the bench, such as Bears linebacker Otis Wilson, who has lost his job to Ron Rivera. "I'll have to wear a lot of clothes," Wilson said . . .
Mark Rodenhauser, who snaps for the Bears' field goals and punts, has been listed as questionable for Sunday's game because of a sore shoulder. John Adickes is expected to take his place snapping punts. Jay Hilgenberg likely will snap on field goals.
The Bears are concerned about two matchups -- tackle Jim Covert against defensive end Dexter Manley and cornerback Maurice Douglass against any Redskins wide receiver. Covert has a sore ankle, and according to trainer Fred Caito, will only be 80 percent healthy by Sunday. He will start anyway.
Paul Blair -- in his second year -- backs up Covert and says he'd love to face Manley because they both attended Oklahoma State.
Manley, for sure, is the talk of the Bears' camp. Ever since Coach Mike Ditka said Manley has "the IQ of a grapefruit," Bears players have begun calling Manley "Sunkist."