Lee will replace Jackson

James Lee wasn't even good enough to start at Oregon State. That's not going to prevent him from starting Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Lee will start in place of the injured nose tackle Grady Jackson, who dislocated his left kneecap at Carolina on Monday. Lee primarily played the running downs against the Panthers and was replaced by Cullen Jenkins on passing plays. Carolina's esteemed running game was held to just 38 yards, even with Jackson out of the lineup for all but three plays.

At 325 pounds, Lee is the Packers' heaviest defensive lineman, other than the mammoth Jackson, of course. Packers coach Mike Sherman, normally not one to offer effusive praise, said Lee "did a marvelous job" in Jackson's place Monday.

Lee, considered a chronic underachiever in college at Oregon State, has had a fire under him since the minicamps in the spring. That continued Monday, evidenced most clearly when he made the tackle on a screen pass. Carolina's Nick Goings gained 13 yards on the play, but with Lee making the tackle all the way at the sideline, he probably hustled 40 yards to make the stop.

Sherman hopes Lee can fill the void for 40 snaps Sunday, with Jenkins and eagle tackle Cletidus Hunt taking the rest of the snaps.

Lee's last start? In 2000 for the College of the Redwoods junior college in California. Last season, as a rookie fifth-round draft pick, he spent the season on injured reserve with a back injury.

With such a spotty track record, Lee realizes he'll be singled out by Chicago's defense.

"They're going to be thinking, ‘Look at him, he didn't even play a down last year,'" Lee said.

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