O-line Functions Despite Alleged Fight

CHICAGO - The Bears' offensive line worked as a unified force Sunday in a 17-9 win over the San Francisco 49ers, but reports say there is some discord among the group.

Starting right tackle Fred Miller missed the game due to a broken jaw suffered last Monday night, and CBS on Sunday reported the injury occurred when Bears center Olin Kreutz punched him.

The Bears had no comment on the report, and earlier in the week said the injury occurred when Miller fell at home. The issue will be addressed today during Lovie Smith's press conference, as players have the day off and will not meet with the media.

Dissension or not, the line helped pave the way for 172 rushing yards. The ground attack functioned whether it was Cedric Benson carrying the ball before suffering a game-ending sprained right knee or Adrian Peterson was running to a career-high 120 yards.

"The guys up front, I mean, that's an amazing offensive line," Benson said. "They can march it down the field on a consistent basis, avoid negative plays. I'm very thankful to be in this program and to be running behind those guys."

Ruben Brown returned from a partially torn pectoral muscle to start at left guard. John St. Clair took Miller's place at right tackle. Quarterback Kyle Orton was never sacked.

"When you see a running back like Cedric and Adrian Peterson having that type of day, it starts up front," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "They've done a great job. John St. Clair stepped in good. It was good getting Ruben Brown back into the mix. They've had an outstanding year and hopefully they'll keep carrying us."

Brown isn't surprised that the line has continued to function despite using four different starting lineups in nine games.

"We've got outstanding guys," he said. "All the guys that we plug into our offensive line have been starters before and know how to play the game."


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