Just when you thought you found the right offensive line combination, it’s time to do the shuffle again as left guard Chris Williams heads to Injured Reserve, ending his season. Williams suffered a wrist injury in the second quarter of the Bears’ 37-13 whooping of the Detroit Lions on Sunday. He had emergency surgery on Sunday night as a result of the injury, similar to the one that ended Brian Urlacher’s 2009 campaign halfway through the season opening loss to the Packers.
“Chris has been doing a great job of stepping in and being a leader on the offensive line,” center Roberto Garza said Monday at Halas Hall. “It’s a tough loss for us but obviously somebody has to step up and Edwin (Williams) did that during the game. I thought he came into the game (at left guard) and did a good job.”
Williams has very quietly been having a great season at left guard, earning praise as the most underrated left guard through the first half of the season from Yahoo! Sports’ Shutdown Corner:
Left Guard: Chris Williams, Chicago Bears
Surprised? So were we that this former bust of a first-round left tackle out of Vanderbilt could become such a great success as a guard, especially in Chicago’s offensive line. But watch the way Williams is not only blocking man-on-man but using his agility to pull right and execute seal blocks on the right edge.
How do the Bears re-group? Check out my thoughts after the jump.
The short term fix appears to insert Edwin Williams in at left guard as Gabe Carimi continues to rehab a Week 2 knee injury. Carimi suffered a minor setback that required an arthroscopic clean up last week.
The real questions will come up when Carimi returns to the practice field. Does he slide back into his right tackle spot? If he goes to RT, do the Bears slide Lance Louis over to left guard? Does Louis slide over to RG and does Chris Spencer move to LG? It looks like the only certain positions are Roberto Garza at center and J’Marcus Webb at left tackle.
For my money, don’t mess with that right side of the line unless you absolutely have to . You don’t move 2 guys to fill one spot, so let Edwin Williams sink or swim in that LG spot. Louis and Spencer have earned the right to keep their spots.
When Carimi comes back, ease him back into action and if Edwin Williams sinks, then you shuffle again. Could Carimi play left guard? Maybe Jerry Angelo has a knack for drafting tackles that are better suited for playing left guard?
Wishing Chris Williams a speedy recovery and the offensive line continued success.