Bears end Mike Brown's season

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Although he wasn't expected to play Sunday at Houston, safety Mike Brown's season officially ended Friday when Chicago placed him on injured reserve. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times has the story.

The move means the Bears didn't believe that Brown, who has a calf injury, would be healthy in time to help them in a potential playoff run. The Bears likely will be forced to start rookie Craig Steltz in his place for Sunday's crucial game at Houston.

It's very possible that Brown, one of the team's top defensive players this decade, has played his final game for the Bears. He is a free agent after the season, and although he played 15 games this season, his long history of injuries makes it difficult to count on him for the long-term.