Bad News Bears

The Bears offensive line was dealt a potentially devastating blow today with the loss of former Pro Bowl Guard <!--Default NodeId For Rex Tucker is 722207,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722207]>Rex Tucker</A>, who is out for an indefinite period with a torn Posterior Tibialis tendon in his right ankle. Tucker suffered the injury during Wednesday's preseason finale at <!--Default NodeId For New England Patriots is 93,2003--><A HREF=>New England Patriots</A>.

"It hurt some initially, but I was able to continue playing "Tucker said at Halas Hall Friday. "I was trying to move my ankle around some on the sidelines during the remainder of the game. Walking it off seemed to work pretty well. The ankle was bothersome, but I didn't think that the injury was anything to worry about."

Tucker went down in the fifth game of the 2002 season with dislocated ankle and a broken fibula. After extensive rehabilitation, he looked to be back where he was before the injury.

"Rex worked so hard to get in shape. He was right back where he wanted to be," said head coach Dick Jauron. "He seemed to be ok right after this happened. In fact, he told me yesterday and even this morning that he was feeling a lot better. Unfortunately, the ultrasound did show that the tendon had been torn. This is the last thing that Rex would have wanted to happen."

While Tucker's surgery is scheduled for Tuesday the severity of the injury will not be know until doctors finish the procedure.

"Obviously, this is not the kind of news that we wanted to hear just as the season is about to start," Jauron said. Rex worked so hard to recover from his injury last year and we were expecting big things from him this season."

Terrance Metcalf would have been a logical replacement for Tucker, but he has also been sidelined with a broken finger. The injury, sustained in the first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, is expected to keep him on the sideline until Week 2.

Jauron declined to name Tucker's immediate replacement, but did admit that Tucker's absence would have a significant impact on the offense.

‘It's just too early to tell what will happen from here," Jauron said. "We'll have to do some reshuffling. The coaches will be meeting this weekend to look at our options. Then we'll decide just where to go with this. Obviously, having Rex out leaves a significant hole in our line. There are several players who can step in, but exactly who that might be hasn't been determined."

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