It’s one thing when a team needs to go to second options in their depth charts. The Bears may need to go against one of the NFL’s top pass-rushing teams with their third option at center.
Rookie Hroniss Grasu injured his neck in practice on Wednesday and was limited. On Thursday Grasu, who took over after starter Will Montgomery suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Oakland game, was unable to practice at all, raising questions about his status for Sunday and the Minnesota Vikings.
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If Grasu cannot go Sunday, the possibilities are Matt Slauson moving from left guard to center, which he did vs. Oakland, and Patrick Omameh filling in for Slauson, or elevating former Alabama All-American and St. Louis Rams draft choice Barrett Jones from the Bears’ practice squad.
No job in the NFL is every easy, but because of the Minnesota schemes, dealing with the Vikings is especially problematic due to their methods of attacking the “A” gaps on either side of the center with rush linebackers and tackles.
“I think they’re kind of the pinnacle of the double A in the NFL right now because they show eight [defenders] up [in the box],” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “Those other teams that do it, you can handle it with the back and the line. These guys, you have to incorporate a lot of different stuff because ‘22’ [safety Harrison Smith] comes, their two inside guys come, the nickel comes. They got every combination.
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“With Chad [Greenway, linebacker] in there and some of those other linebackers, they do a good job of knowing where the points are, knowing who the mike is and getting themselves in the best possible scenario for their defense. You’ve got to be on it. You kinda have to play a little game with them, show a lot of different things.”