Lineup for disaster

The Bears' offensive line, shaky at best to begin with, continues to be plagued by injuries.

First right tackle Marc Colombo went on the PUP list just before the start of the season when it became obvious that he wasn't anywhere near recovered from last season's dislocated kneecap. Then left guard Rex Tucker suffered a season-ending torn ankle tendon in the preseason finale. Now, right guard Chris Villarrial is out 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee.

So the Bears are expected to line up with Steve Edwards at left guard and Corbin Lacina at right guard when they visit the Minnesota Vikings for a Sunday night game this week. Edwards had never taken a snap on offense in the NFL prior to Sunday.

"That was the last thing we wanted to hear obviously but it's what we've heard so we'll deal with that," coach Dick Jauron said of Villarrial's injury, which occurred early in the 49-7 embarrassment at San Francisco. "We'll stay with the lineup as it ended the game."

Backup guard Terrence Metcalf at least played in goal-line situations and on special teams last season as a rookie. He returned to full-contact practice Wednesday after fracturing his middle finger that required four screws to stabilize. It's still a long shot that Metcalf would be active for this weekend's game at Minnesota.

"He's clearly rusty, but at least he got the go-ahead to practice, and he went through the full practice. It's going to take a little while I believe," Jauron said. "But it was great to have him back out there and back getting into it. Terrence was really coming along fine, but he's missed a lot of time now."

Lacina looks to have the edge over Josh Warner, who replaced Villarrial when he went down against San Francisco. The ten-year veteran was picked up just prior to the start of the regular season, and is getting more comfortable in the Bears' system.

"Corbin as a veteran, it's a lot easier for a veteran to get into a system because by and large teams run about the same kinds of plays, about the same kinds of protections," Jauron said. "The only thing that changes is terminology. He should be able to catch on a lot quicker than a rookie would. We'll just have to see how far he comes along."

The makeshift and inexperienced front wall limits what an already unimaginative offense can do.

"It does limit it to a degree," Jauron said, "but we've got to limit what we're doing right now. Clearly what we did (Sunday) was not very productive; what we tried to do. So, we've got to make it as simple as we can and also stay as multiple enough, hopefully, to give people problems.

"Execution is the thing. A young offensive line is tough to deal with. For the most part -- and unfortunately that's a word that you could hear a lot -- guys played pretty well (vs. the 49ers) for the most part. Unfortunately, when they make an error, it really hurt us."

The Lane Adkins contributed to this report.

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