Tucker out 8 to 10 weeks with dislocated elbow

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Chicago Bears left guard Rex Tucker will miss eight to 10 weeks of the regular season because of a dislocated left elbow.

Free agent acquisition Ruben Brown becomes the starting left guard in Tucker's absence, Bears coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday.

Tucker's injury won't require surgery, and the Bears will keep him on their active roster when the regular season begins.

``That's definitely typical of how training camps go,'' Smith said. ``That's why you need as many players as you can have at all the positions. Luckily for Rex, he's not out for the season.''

It's the third straight season Tucker suffered an injury which sidelined him for part or all of the season. Last year, he tore a right ankle tendon in the preseason finale and missed the entire year. In 2002, he broke his fibula in the fifth game and missed the rest of the season.

Tucker has played in five regular-season games since signing a seven-year, $2 million contract before the 2002 season.

Brown, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound, eight-time Pro Bowl player with the Buffalo Bills, signed a three-year deal with the Bears in the offseason. He had been involved in a three-way battle with Mike Gandy and Terrence Metcalf for starting right guard.

Smith said Gandy will start at right guard. Metcalf, who currently is sidelined with an ankle sprain, will become a backup guard/center.

The Bears' starting offensive line for Saturday's preseason game will be center Olin Kreutz, right tackle John Tait, left tackle Qasim Mitchell, Brown at left guard and Gandy at right guard.

Tucker is not the only injured player the Bears will have on their active 53-man roster when the regular season starts. Cornerback and Pro Bowl kick returner Jerry Azumah will be out until at least November to have neck surgery to repair a disc problem.

``As long as we don't lose anybody else we still feel like well be OK,'' Smith said.