Chicago Bears: Who should replace James Daniels?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

How will the Chicago Bears fill the void on the offensive line?

The Chicago Bears were dealt a very difficult blow last week. Although they won a close game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they lost their starting guard for the season when James Daniels tore his pectoral muscle.

For an offensive line that has struggled mightily to run the football the last two weeks, this is devastating news. In the first three weeks of the season, the team was averaging nearly 140 rushing yards per game. It seemed most of that was a by-product of the competition, as the sledding has gotten significantly tougher against the aforementioned Bucs and Indianapolis Colts.

However, if the team is going to have long term success this season, they have to be better in the run game than they have been in the last two games. That starts with finding a suitable replacement for Daniels. So just who might they plug in the fill that void? We take a look at some options.

Some fans may immediately jump to the idea of bringing back Ted Larsen, the former Bear who had two prior stints with Chicago. Although he was with the team just last season, a reunion doesn’t seem likely given his unsolicited shot at head coach Matt Nagy on social media, which he appears to have since deleted.

Another former Bear that might actually make sense to bring back is Eric Kush. The journeyman guard played a total of 23 games with the Bears in 2016 and 2018. He’s a more than capable stop-gap measure with the ability to play multiple positions — plus, he doesn’t appear to have beef with the head coach, which always helps your chances of gaining employment.

Finally, the Bears may simply decide to fill the void internally. Frankly, this probably makes the most sense. If they go this route, it seems the most logical replacement would be former undrafted free agent Alex Bars. They could also go with Rashaad Coward. However, given Bars was the pick to replace Daniels in the Colts game, it seems like they’ve seen enough of Coward to know what he is and want to get a look at Bars.

Frankly, whether its Bars or Coward, promoting from within makes the most sense. Anyone you bring in at this stage off the street is going to have their limitations. So why not stick with someone that knows your system, and what new offensive line coach Juan Castillo wants to do in the run game. Furthermore, it’s time to see what they have in Bars and whether he can be a viable option in the future.

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We’ll see what Pace decides to do, but with a game in just six days, expect Bars or Coward to get the first crack at locking down that position.