Austin goes on IR

The Bears have placed <!--Default NodeId For Reggie Austin is 292179,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292179]>Reggie Austin</A> on the injured reserve list. The cornerback is the fourth Bear to be put on IR this season.

Austin played nine games this season with four starts for the Bears. He is tied for the team lead with two interceptions on the season. The third-year pro finishes with career-highs in tackles (26), forced fumbles (2) and pass break-ups (5).

Austin was the Bears nickel corner, but that role will now go to Todd McMillon and rookie Roosevelt Williams.

There is a chance the team will also bring CB Travis Coleman up from the practice squad. The undrafted free agent had an impressive preseason campaign before being waived on the final round of roster cuts.

"Travis did a nice job for us in training camp and did a nice job in preseason," said head coach Dick Jauron. "That's different than the regular season. Again, he doesn't have a lot of experience, he's worked awfully hard all year, he's been in all of our meetings. If we make that move and he does get active, he's got to be ready to perform on the field and we would have the confidence that he'd do that."

The Bears also claimed quarterback Cory Sauter off waivers Monday.

The Indianapolis Colts waived Sauter last Saturday (11/9). He had been the Colts third quarterback in their first eight games this season.

The 6-4, 216-pounder has been a member of the Arizona Cardinals (1998), Detroit Lions (1999-2000) and Colts (2001-2002), but has never played in a regular season NFL contest. Arizona originally signed the Minnesota product as an undrafted free agent in 1998.

This brings to question what the Bears think of third string quarterback Henry Burris. The team has health concerns about Jim Miller and Chris Chandler meaning that Burris might have to start against the Rams.

"At this point, we haven't even discussed that because we don't anticipate that being the issue," said Jauron about the possibility of Burris starting. "Henry has a lot of work and a lot invested as our third. He has a lot of practice time. We all know he doesn't have much game experience and we just as soon not have him get that game experience right now in the regular season. That being said, I do like Henry's up side athletically. He just needs to get out there and play and I'm not sure right now is the ideal time for that."

Jauron remains cautiously optimistic about Miller and Chandler.

"Jimmy's arm is sore, obviously," he said. "It's not any worse. It's not any more sore than he was going into the game, so he'll be on a day-to-day (basis). The X-rays (on Chandler) were negative, so the good news is, it's not a bad injury. We'll just have to wait and see how those two are come Wednesday when we start practicing."

The extra day of preparation this week could be important for Miller and Chandler.

"We'll see how it progresses during the week," Miller said. "If I have to play, I'll be ready to play. Hopefully I'll play better than I have the past two weeks."

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