Tucker targeted for IR

The fact that the Bears cut two veterans Sunday barely registered because the team announced <!--Default NodeId For Rex Tucker is 722207,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722207]>Rex Tucker</A>'s season ended prematurely for a second straight year. There was a chance Tucker could have returned this season, but the Bears decided to place him on Injured Reserve.

"The risks in terms of him coming back were too great," said Bears GM Jerry Angelo. "It's an 8-to-10 week injury. That's if everything goes right. Given his position, the rehab could easily go longer. We just felt like that's too long to go, and when you keep a player, his position has to absorb that loss, so it puts the burden on those other offensive linemen. We just felt it's in the best interest of Rex and our offensive line that we just now move forward."

Steve Edwards has been handed the starting right guard spot for now, but the team is still searching for help.

"We've been looking the last several days. Easier said than done," Angelo said. "Guys that can come in and play for you or contribute early, I don't foresee them being let go. So it's just something that we have to solve internally. That's not to say that we won't make a move if we see a veteran, most likely or maybe a good young player that we feel fell through the cracks. We might look at him as well. We'll just see what comes tonight on the wire and we'll go from there."

The biggest surprise among the final cuts was Roosevelt Williams. A third-round pick in 2002 disappointed during his rookie season and the team felt he didn't make enough progress to keep him on the roster.

"It's unfortunate because we made a pretty good investment in him last year," Angelo said. "It just wasn't going to work. We felt that we were better served going in a different direction and we wish him well. It's an unfortunate situation. Hopefully it's the last one we see like that where we have to let a third-round pick go in his second year."

Daimon Shelton and Mike Caldwell also failed to make the 53-man roster. The team will likely employ Stanley Pritchett, who is known more as a pass catching fullback, as the starter and use Dustin Lyman in the backfield as an extra blocker.

Although the team fielded calls on Caldwell nothing came of the talks. In the end rookie Joe Odom beat out Caldwell for a roster spot.

"That was tough because we feel Mike's going to play in the league and certainly good enough to play in several places," Angelo said. "We just opted to go with Joe. Special teams had something to do with that decision as well."

To get to 53 players the team also cut seventh-round choice G Bryan Anderson, DE Chris Demaree, CB Jason Goss, G Shane Grice, FB Jason McKie and DE Bobby Setzer. Robert Johnson was place on the Reserve Non Football Injury list.

A five-man practice squad will be announced Monday.


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