Getting Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith to talk about a single young player making an impact is almost as difficult at times as getting him to talk about a Pro Bowl LB's knee injury, but rookie WR Joe Anderson had the coach singing his praises Sunday after practice.
"We’ve seen a lot of players step up," Smith said. "A guy like Joe Anderson, most of you don’t know an awful lot about where he’s from or where he played college ball, but he got an opportunity and made a couple big plays."
Anderson (6-1, 196) is an undrafted rookie (Texas Southern) who survived the first round of cuts -- possibly because of his two big catches against the Giants on Friday.
Johnson made a short, leaping catch in the red zone, then on the next play put a fake-and-spin move on Giants CB Bruce Johnson after a short catch to get free and score the game-winning 11-yard TD
"I like that receiving group, whether we keep five, six, seven (receivers), whatever, we're going to feel pretty good about it."
Anderson and Brittan Golden have made impacts in the passing game, but it would seem unlikely that either could make the 53-man roster because they haven't contributed on special teams. Dane Sanzenbacher and Rashied Davis could be the players Anderson or Golden would have to dislodge for the sixth or seventh receiver spot.
"The rest of our players, from the third slot on down, you have to be able to play special teams," Smith said. "It’s been like that every year I”ve been here, and it won’t change."
Injury update: DT Stephen Paea (ankle) didn't return to practice Sunday as he had hoped. Also out for an unspecified injury was starting DT Henry Melton. ... Smith said Brian Urlacher is still progressing toward the Sept. 9 target date for his return.
Another cut: Although the team hadn't officially announced his departure, FB-RB Harvey Unga is expected to be cut. Unga was among those not at Sunday's practice. He whiffed on a block and it resulted in a blocked punt Friday against the Giants, which certainly didn't help his cause. His departure would bring the Bears to the required 75-player total for their roster on Monday.
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLCHI.