Brown Done for the Year

Lake Forest - The Bears victory against Green Bay came with a heavy price. Mike Brown suffered an Achilles tendon injury in the closing minutes of the game that will end his season. Now the team faces the prospect of playing the remainder of the year without one of their defensive captains.

"I just talked to Mike about changing the title behind his name (to) assistant coach now, that's what we plan on getting from him," Lovie Smith said of Brown. "He can still do a lot of the same things that he was doing before we just won't have his leadership and his ability on the field, but he'll still be a big part of what we're going to do."

Brown has been one of the Bears most consistent performers since being drafted by the team in the second-round of the 2000 draft. A knack for being in the right place at the right earned Brown a reputation for being a clutch playmaker.

His 95-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Green Bay turned the game in the Bears favor. It was his fifth defensive score of his career, which set a new franchise record.

Until Sunday, Brown had been a durable performer for the Bears. He had never missed a game and started 65 of 66 contests in his career. He is also the active leader on the team with 11 career interceptions.

Although Brown hasn't officially been placed on Injured Reserve, it's a formality. The move will create an additional roster space.

Mike Green will move from strong to free safety. He's played there in spurts over his four plus years in the league, but will now be counted on to be a leader in the secondary without the vocal Brown.

"That was Mikes' job, so I guess now it's on me to be the leader back there in the secondary," Green said.

Entering the year Green had just one career interception, but has a pick in each game.

The biggest adjustment for Green will be making the defensive calls in the secondary. The fact that he has played cornerback and safety should help make the transition easier.

"I know what they're going to be doing. I should be able to flow into that position," Green said.

Bobby Gray will now play with the first string defense at strong safety, a position he started nine game last year. He came up with his first career interception to the clinch the win against Green Bay.

"Sometimes you have guys waiting in the wing ready to take on that role when they're called upon," Smith said.

The Bears still plan to use Green at cornerback in nickel situations and Todd Johnson will then replace him at free safety. Cameron Worrell is also an option at either safety spot.

"The good thing if there's a good thing is that we kept five safeties," Smith said.

This is the second major injury to impact the secondary. Jerry Azumah isn't expected back until November after requiring surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck.

Another bit of bad news Monday included seeing Charles Tillman on crutches. The cornerback sprained his right knee against the Packers. While Tillman did finish the game, going up against Randy Moss at full strength is a challenge let alone with a bad wheel.

The severity of the injury is unclear at this point, but if Tillman is unable to play Todd McMillon is next in line to start. Rookie Nathan Vasher would also move up the depth chart.

"One guy steps out, the rest of the guys kind of bump up a slot," Smith said.


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