Right arm trouble

Jim Miller has played with right arm tendentious for several weeks, but the pain has caught up with the Bears starting quarterback. Miller didn't practice Wednesday because of the injury and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Lions.

Jim Miller said the injury hasn't effected his throws and he expects play.

"On Monday it did not feel good after we got done practicing," Miller said. "But I've had two days now to rest it and it feels better. We'll come out tomorrow and maybe toss a little bit and Friday will probably be the crucial day."

If Miller can't go then the Bears have one of the best backup plans in football. Chris Chandler took the majority of the reps Wednesday in preparation for his first start in a Bear uniform. The 15-year veteran said he hasn't been getting a lot of reps in practice, but expects to get rid of any rust quickly.

"With some good work this week in practice, if something happens Sunday, I'll feel ready to go," Chandler said.

Head coach Dick Jauron said a decision might not be made on Miller until Sunday.

"We'll go right up to game time if we have to," Jauron said. "If the answer is clear before that then we'll make a decision on it, but we have to wait and see day-to-day. Again, I'm not a doctor but from what they tell me things can change significantly from day-to-day with these kinds of things. So, we'll wait."

In the meantime the Bears made room for another long-snapper with Patrick Mannelly listed as doubtful on the injury report. The team signed Jody Littleton to a one-year deal, but had to waive veteran DE Keith McKenzie to make room on the 53-man roster.

McKenzie, a six-year, NFL veteran, started three of the Bears' five games this season, playing in the opener against Minnesota, then starting the next three games in place of injured starter Phillip Daniels before being made inactive against Green Bay. He registered eight tackles in five games (two solo, five assisted and one tackle-for-loss) for the Bears in 2002.

Littleton, who spent the spring playing linebacker for the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe, signed with the New York Giants for the second time on Jan. 9, 2002. He went to training camp with the Giants and was released Aug. 26. Originally signed by Atlanta in 1998, he was waived prior to the start of the Falcons' training camp and signed by the Giants on May 14, 2001 and released Aug. 27. The 6-1, 235 pounder out of Baylor, handled long snapping chores for three seasons in college for the Bears.


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