Black and Blue all over: Tough decisions for the Bears

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
The Chicago Bears weren't ready to pull the plug on rookie left tackle Chris Williams after doctors repaired a herniated disc in his back Thursday, but they seemed more hopeful than confident.

Williams, who also had back trouble during his college career at Vanderbilt, hasn't practiced since the Bears' first day of training camp, a development that stalled the team's plans to revamp its offensive line. While it's possible doctors could clear Williams to play at some point during the season, the Bears will have to decide if it's worth carrying him on their active roster until that point -- and if he would be well-suited by returning after missing essentially all of training camp and probably a good portion of the regular season as well.

"We have to wait and see probably for a few weeks and see how the rehab is," general manager Jerry Angelo said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

In the meantime, the Bears have some tough decisions to make along the offensive line. Veteran John St. Clair has been filling in for Williams, but the Sun-Times reported the team could ultimately move right tackle John Tait back to the left side and signing veteran Fred Miller to play right tackle. In that scenario, St. Clair would compete for the starting left guard job.

Those are not the kind of decisions the Bears wanted to be making during the first week of the preseason.

Around the division after a bit of a late start for us Friday morning. (Call it a Favreover).

  • The Bears' first-team offense didn't exactly light it up in a 24-20 preseason loss to Kansas City. Chicago trailed 14-3 at halftime, and neither Kyle Orton nor Rex Grossman distinguished himself in the team's quarterback competition. Orton dropped the ball while scrambling on a third-down play, while Grossman fell on his back while dropping back from center. Meanwhile, the Chiefs' offense sliced through the Bears' first-team defense on its opening drive.

  • Second-year quarterback Drew Stanton took his first live snaps in nearly two years during the Lions' 13-10 victory over the New York Giants. Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press suggests that Stanton could buy coach Rod Marinelli another season as head coach if he makes him the starter later this season. "Stanton might become Marinelli's coaching safety net," Sharp writes.

  • Rookie right tackle Gosder Cherilus was called for two false starts and a holding penalty Thursday night.

  • Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and the rest of the team's starters will play about a quarter in Friday night's preseason opener against Seattle.

  • OK, you can relax now. The makers of Madden NFL 09 said Thursday they will release an update that puts quarterback Brett Favre with the New York Jets. The store edition of the game will continue to feature Favre win a Green Bay Packers uniform on the cover, but if it helps, the manufacturer will send you an updated, downloadable cover to print out.