Biggs: Briggs to miss just his third career game

The Chicago Bears will be without linebacker Lance Briggs and left tackle Orlando Pace Sunday when they host the St. Louis Rams at Soldier Field.

Briggs will miss just the third game in his seven-year career with a sprained left knee. The weak-side linebacker, who has been named to the last four Pro Bowl teams, was injured last week at Minnesota. He’s en route to leading the defense in tackles for the third time in his career, and it’s possible that he misses one more game, although the hope is he returns next week when the Green Bay Packers visit. Jamar Williams, a seldom-used fourth-round draft pick from 2006, will replace him. Briggs last missed a game in 2007 when a hip pointer kept him out of one game and a hamstring pull sidelined him for another.

Pace is out with a pulled groin muscle and the Bears have shifted Chris Williams, their first-round pick from 2008, from right tackle to left tackle. If Williams performs well, he might remain there for the rest of the season. Pace signed a three-year contract in April, but the Bears want to develop Williams as the left tackle of the future. Kevin Shaffer will step in at right tackle.

It will be interesting to see how offensive coordinator Ron Turner devises the blocking schemes. Last week at Minnesota, the Bears left Pace one-on-one with Vikings’ right end Jared Allen. He held his own until the injury took him out of the game. Turner had the team chip blocking on the other side to assist Williams vs. Ray Edwards. The Rams’ best pass rusher, Leonard Little, will line up across from Shaffer. Does Turner lend him a hand from time to time, or does he chip block with Williams, who will face past-his-prime James Hall and underachieving Chris Long?

Stay tuned.

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