Center position is a mystery after Hroniss Grasu injures neck at practice

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears may have to shuffle around their offensive line on Sunday if rookie center Hroniss Grasu is unable to play because of a neck injury.

Grasu did not practice on Thursday after he tweaked his neck sometime during Wednesday’s workout.

With Grasu sidelined, veteran left guard Matt Slauson handled some first-team reps at center, although the Bears officially listed him as limited with knee and shoulder problems.

The good news is that Slauson has experience at the position. As the Bears’ emergency center, Slauson replaced the club’s original starting center, Will Montgomery, during Week 4’s victory over the Raiders. The Bears elevated Grasu to the starting role the following week as Slauson shifted back to left guard.

“Slauson has done it before, so if we have him in there, we feel good about that,” Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said.

In the event Grasu is inactive and Slauson has to line up at center on Sunday, the Bears can use Vladimir Ducasse and Patrick Omameh at the guard positions. Omameh was limited on Thursday with an ankle injury, but he started 16 games for the Tampa Bay Bucs at right guard in 2014.

“Pat is coming back. It’s kind of rotating up there,” Cutler said. “Whoever is up there, it’s kind of who we’re going to go with. I have confidence in them. I know our game plan will help them out some. At the end of the week, we’ll have it figured out.”

Former University of Alabama All-American center Barrett Jones is on the practice squad.

In other injury news, inside linebacker Shea McClellin (knee) and defensive lineman Bruce Gaston (illness) also missed practice on Thursday, while left tackle Jermon Bushrod (shoulder) and safety Antrel Rolle (ankle) were limited.