Chink in the Armor

Lake Forest - The Bears have remained healthy this year, especially on defense where no starter has missed a game because of injury. The streak was expected to come to an end with Chris Harris' sprained MCL, but now Mike Brown is also likely out with a calf strain.

Brown injured the calf at practice on Thursday and missed Friday's practice. Even though he's listed as questionable on the injury report, an injury toward the end of the week usually means a player being unable to recover quickly enough to play.

The six-year veteran is the emotional leader of the defense. He's third on the team in tackles (89) and interceptions (3). Last year Brown missed the final 14 games of the season with an Achilles tear.

Todd Johnson was expected to replace Harris at free safety. Now Mike Green, who was originally passed over for replacement duty, would start for Brown.

Brandon McGowan could also see his first action of the year in the secondary. He's been active four times this season, but has played only in a special teams capacity.

Shouldering the Burden
The Bears are also expected to be without the services of RG Terrence Metcalf. Although he remains questionable, he didn't practice all week with a shoulder injury.

Roberto Garza would make his fifth start of the year. He started four consecutive games when Ruben Brown missed a month with a partial tear of a pectoral muscle.

Another Blow
Olin Kreutz and Fred Miller each received a $50,000 fine from the NFL for their altercation at an FBI shooting range on Nov. 7.

"We wanted the league to rule on it so we could move on and they have so we'll just kind of go from there," coach Lovie Smith said.

During the incident Kreutz suffered a cut on his head that required 13 stitches, while he broke Miller's jaw with a punch.

Miller needed surgery to insert a metal plate in his jaw to speed up the healing process. The injury forced the 10-year veteran to miss one game and he lost out on a $100,000 incentive in his contract if he were to be active for all 16 games.

Both players plan to appeal the ruling.

Century Club
Kreutz will make his 100th start with the Bears, including his 51st straight. He will also become the only member of the offensive line to start every game this season. He had the same distinction in 2004.

"Anytime you can start 100 games with one team obviously you've done pretty well. I take pride in that," Kreutz said.


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