|On playing in wintry Chicago, BenJarvus Green-Ellis said, “We’re not expecting to go out there and it be 90 degrees.’’ (Bill Greene/Globe Staff)|
They’ll soldier on in cold
Weather woes part of the preparation
FOXBOROUGH — The coldest game Patriots linebacker Tracy White can remember playing in was in 2007 — in Chicago.
White was a member of the Green Bay Packers. The rivalry didn’t warm up much on Dec. 23, 2007, as the temperature reached 16 degrees and the Bears captured a 35-7 victory. After the game, Packers quarterback Brett Favre called it the “worst conditions’’ he had ever played in.
Now White is waiting to see if tomorrow’s game at Soldier Field will be something similar — or worse. The high is expected to be in the teens, with wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour. Once the sun sets after the midafternoon kickoff, the temperature is expected to drop to single digits.
Every player prepares for such conditions in their own way, and White said his approach is to go without sleeves during practice leading up to game day.
“I have to say, it’s kind of a pride thing,’’ White said. “A lot of guys don’t want to wear sleeves. For me, it’s just hard for me to put sleeves on for a game, but once I’m playing, I’m warm anyway.’’
Wide receiver Wes Welker joked that he puts himself in a refrigerator to prepare for cold weather.
“The main thing is just practicing in it, and make sure you’re getting used to practicing in it and getting ready for it,’’ Welker said.
Once the temperature dips to a certain point, the feeling doesn’t change much, running back Fred Taylor said.
“Once it’s cold, it’s cold,’’ he said. “You just use your adrenaline and just being out there on the field playing, it’s all the same really.’’
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis said some things have to be expected when you see Chicago on the schedule in December.
“We’re not expecting to go out there and it be 90 degrees,’’ he said. “I think everyone is kind of expecting, it’s December, it’s football. When you’re playing in cold states, this is what it is up here.’’
Around the corner The Patriots signed defensive back Chevis Jackson to take the roster spot vacated by rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes, who was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Jackson, who is 5 feet 11 inches and 193 pounds, played two seasons with the Falcons after they drafted him in the third round in 2008 out of Louisiana State. The Falcons released Jackson in September. He was signed by the Jaguars in October, and released Nov. 17.
Jackson gives the Patriots another option at corner with Jonathan Wilhite questionable with a hip injury.
Big questions Defensive linemen Myron Pryor (back) and Mike Wright (concussion) are questionable for tomorrow’s game. Wright has not played the last two weeks since suffering a concussion against the Colts Nov. 21. Pryor has missed the last four games.
Quarterback Tom Brady (right shoulder, foot) is probable.
Hole in the middle The Bears will be without linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa for the second consecutive week. He is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, according to Chicago coach Lovie Smith. Linebacker Nick Roach is questionable with a back injury, but he had full participation in practice yesterday.
Shalise Manza Young of the Globe staff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.