Time to Push the Panic Button?

It's almost a sounding like a broken record at this point in the preseason -another practice, another injury - another game, another veteran going down. This week, R.W. McQuarters pulled his right hamstring midway through Friday night's game.

Although Lovie Smith didn't press the panic button during his post game press conference, the team has already lost Jerry Azumah until at least October as he recovers from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck.

R.W. McQuarters' teammates hope the problem would be short lived.

"Even though it's the preseason, you don't want to lose anybody, especially a starter," said Charles Tillman. "It's definitely not a best case scenario for us. We've already lost Azumah for the time being so you don't want another member of the secondary to be on the sidelines."

If McQuarters is out for any length of the time the depth in the secondary is getting thin. Todd McMillon replaced McQuarters on Friday, but leaving him in the starting lineup would be a stretch.

Fourth-round pick Nathan Vasher may have the talent to be with the first string. However his inexperience would make him a target for opposing offenses.

"You have to realize that everyone who is drafted in this league is playing at a very high level of competency," said Mike Brown. "Their job is to do exactly what they are now required to do, to be available. They have to fill in as needed without letting the overall quality of play deteriorate."

Vasher has played mostly in the second half of games, which could change in the preseason finale. The Bears need to see what they have before the start of the regular season.

"I look at things this way: there is a lot of competition right now for roster spots," Brown said. "With Jerry and R.W. out then the guys who maybe wouldn't have had much of a look are going to be in there. It's a big opportunity for them."

Earlier in the week the Bears came to an injury settlement with Brock Williams, who has been sideline because of an ankle sprain.

Eric Kelly has been with the team for more than three weeks hasn't been impressive. He got beat for a 48-yard pass play against the Saints, which set up the game-winning score.

So do the Bears need to go out and sign a cornerback off the street with the kickoff vs. the Detroit Lions two weeks a way?

"It should be fine," Brown said. "In the past few weeks, I've felt that the defense is getting a flow going. Tackles are coming easier and everybody is settling into the system. We need to know that we can rely on every member of the team to come in and do his job without disrupting anything. So far, that's been exactly what has happened. (Brian) Urlacher went out and other players stepped in. The same for Jerry Azumah and now R.W."


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