Kreutz & Miller Fined $50,000

Lake Forest - While neither Olin Kreutz or Fred Miller were suspended for their altercation at an FBI shooting range last month, their pocketbooks will take a major hit after being fined $50,000 by the league.

Miller suffered a fractured jaw in the fight with Kreutz, who received 13 stitches for a cut on the top of his head from being hit with a five-pound weight by Miller.

Miller missed the San Francisco game after having a metal plate inserted into his jaw to facilitate his recovery. The injury ended his streak of 110 consecutive starts.

The discipline comes for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. The policy addresses off-field matters and specifically prohibits conduct that endangers NFL employees and casts a negative light on the NFL and its players.

Two Thumbs Up
The Bears and Steelers both have players with thumb injuries, but the difference is the position they play.

SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer returned to practice Thursday with a protective cast over his fractured right thumb and the heel of his hand. He did everything at practice and intends to play Sunday in his 41st straight game.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has an injured thumb, but he played through it last week and will do so again against the Bears. He called the thumb "painful" and tied a career high with three picks as the Steelers dropped their third straight game.

"We'll trade my thumb injury for his," Hillenmeyer said. "So I think it's probably going affect a guy like him a lot more than me. I can't catch the ball anyway so it doesn't matter for me."

On Guard
RG Terrence Metcalf missed practice for a second straight day and remains questionable with a shoulder injury.

Roberto Garza would replace Metcalf if he cannot start on Sunday. Garza started four games in place of LG Ruben Brown earlier in the season and there was no discernible drop-off in the performance of the offensive line.

The Interceptor
CB Nathan Vasher has seven interceptions, tied for first in the NFC and three short of the Bears' franchise record.

"I had no idea. That's the first time I heard it ever," Vasher said in response to being asked about eclipsing the team record. "If it comes within the course of a football game, I'll just have to see what happens. Opportunities for interceptions are slim and none so you have to take advantage of the ones you do get."

Subject to Tackle
WLB Lance Briggs had 16 tackles last week, the same number as Brian Urlacher, as the less-publicized Briggs maintained his two-tackle lead on the perennial Pro Bowler 136-134.

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