The injury casualties this season may have an unintended but crucial benefit for the 2013 Bears.
Veteran Chris Spencer went down with a knee injury in the loss to Seattle. Edwin Williams was moved into Spencers spot at left guard but played poorly enough at Minnesota that undrafted free agent rookie James Brown replaced Williams.
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Now Spencer is back practicing but strong indications are that the Bears think they have a nugget in Brown, who is expected to start Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
We like James, said offensive coordinator Mike Tice. Hes a big guy. When he hits you in the pocket, you stay hit. We anticipate James being in the mix this week.
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When a coach specifically alludes to an offensive linemans physicality, consider that a lineup tell.
Spencer had lost his job after the first Green Bay game and got back into the lineup as something other than just a short-yardage tight end only when Chilo Rachal failed completely in San Francisco.
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What Brown also brings is a little more size to the line not weight (306), but height, something coach Lovie Smith wants in offensive linemen. Spencer and Williams are 6-3. With Brown, the Bears have 6-7 JMarcus Webb, 6-7 Gabe Carimi and 6-6 Jonathan Scott starting, with only center Roberto Garza (6-2) shorter than Browns 6-4.