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Griese to Start on Sunday

Bears quarterback Rex Grossman finally has been benched.  Despite leading Chicago to a Super Bowl, he always was questioned as the team's starter as he wasn't playing great towards the end of last season.  With that, the hope in the Windy City was that Grossman would step up and solidify himself as the starter in 2007.  Instead, he struggled through the first three weeks of the season and now will be on the bench Sunday.

The NFL Network's Adam Schefter has confirmed that Brian Griese will start at quarterback Sunday for the Chicago Bears.

Griese will replace Rex Grossman, who threw three interceptions as the Chicago Bears fell to the Dallas Cowboys 34-10 on Sunday night and did not get a vote of confidence from his coach a day later.

"Will Rex Grossman start Sunday?" coach Lovie Smith asked on Monday, repeating the question. "Well, our evaluation process is going on right now, and if you come out to practice Wednesday, you'll have a better idea of who will be starting at all positions."

Smith gave his usual answer when asked Sunday night about Grossman -- "Rex Grossman is our quarterback" -- but his tone was different on Monday, fueling speculation Brian Griese might start Sunday against Detroit.

I really wish the benching of Rex Grossman would've waited a week for two reasons.  The first and obvious reason is that he is struggling a lot, which would make life easier for the Lions' secondary.  We already know how bad that is, so a QB without confidence would've helped things out big time.  The second reason I don't want Griese to start on Sunday is because he led Michigan to a national title 10 years ago.  Being a fan of Michigan, I do want Griese to do well, just not this week.

Regardless, it'll be interesting to see the difference in the Bears as a whole with Brian Griese at the helm.  Griese should play much better than Grossman, but the question is how rusty will he be.  Considering he hasn't been a starting QB in a while, we'll have to see if that plays a factor at all on Sunday.

The one thing that sticks out the most to me now that Griese is the Bears' QB is that this game is shaping up to be a shootout.  Chances are Griese will have a decent day against the Lions defense, but it's looking more and more like Jon Kitna will have a field day on the Bears "D" as so many starters are out with injuries.

There will be considerably more turnover on defense. A short-handed situation in the secondary, after Nathan Vasher went down Sunday with a partially torn groin muscle, has grown worse with the news that Charles Tillman also is injured. Rookie Trumaine McBride, a seventh-round draft pick, is expected to start in his place.

Ricky Manning Jr. already was slated to take over for Vasher, and strong safety Adam Archuleta will play with a broken right hand, meaning the entire starting secondary from Week 1 is now injured. Free safety Mike Brown (torn left ACL) is out for the season, and the depleted Bears also could be without defensive tackle Tommie Harris (left knee) and linebacker Lance Briggs (groin) this week.

Those injuries will play a role in the game on Sunday.  Whether or not Detroit will take advantage of them is left to be seen, but expect a lot of passing yards for Kitna.  

Speaking of injuries, wide receiver Calvin Johnson is listed as day-to-day right now with a back injury.  I would imagine he'll play against Chicago, but nothing is for sure right now.  We should get a better idea as we get closer to Sunday when the injury report shapes up.

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