On Guard

Lake Forest - With right guard Mike Gandy missing practice Wednesday and listed as doubtful for Sunday's game, chances are Rex Tucker will start his first regular-season game in more than two years.

Tucker had started 21 straight games at left guard before suffering a dislocated left ankle and fractured left fibula against the Packers on Oct. 7, 2002. Tucker came back in 2003, but torn tendons in his right ankle in the final preseason game prevented him from playing during the regular season. He was back at training camp this year until Aug. 16, when a dislocated left elbow sidelined him for six weeks.

"Rex Tucker's one of our best players, and we need to get him on the field," coach Lovie Smith said. "We played him at right guard (Wednesday), and I think he did well. We need to get him back into the flow of actually playing."

Steve Edwards filled in for Gandy when he was hurt early in the first quarter last week and started in his place in Week 3 and for at left guard for Ruben Brown two weeks ago, when he was out following knee surgery. Edwards is also a possibility to replace Gandy this week.

-Lovie Smith isn't one to complain too much about officials' calls, but at least a couple of the flags that flew against the Bears on Sunday raised his eyebrows.

David Terrell's offensive pass interference penalty that nullified Thomas Jones' 77-yard touchdown reception occurred at least 30 yards from the play.

"If it doesn't affect the play, to me, it's insignificant, really," Smith said. "On that play I thought that was case, (but) the official saw it differently. That didn't really have an effect on what happened on that play as far as us getting down and scoring."

A taunting call that went against Mike Green after he recovered a fumble was so innocuous that afterward Bears players weren't sure who the guilty party was.

Bears cornerback R.W. McQuarters nullified his own interception at the Bucs' 20-yard line with a pass-interference call against Tampa Bay receiver Michael Clayton, when it appeared Clayton tripped.

"I thought R.W. was in decent position," Smith said. "I thought he made contact at about five yards (within the allowable limit), and I thought the receiver probably slipped by himself a little bit more than R.W. making contact with him. But that was the call that they made. Officials' calls really don't (decide a game). We've talked about mental mistakes we're making, the penalties that we have that we did ourselves."

Tommie Harris' unnecessary-roughness penalty for knocking quarterback Brian Griese on his butt after jumping offside would fit into that category.

"My stupid penalty gave them 15 yards and that probably picked the crowd up and gave them energy," Harris said. "So I guess they fed off that."

That jump-started a 93-yard field-goal drive that put the Bucs up 3-0.

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