At this rate, by Week 8 the Bears' defense will consist entirely of backups.
Starting tackle Ted Washington went down with an injured ankle in the first half of Sunday's 14-13 victory over Atlanta. Washington joins cornerback R.W. McQuarters (knee) and defensive end Phillip Daniels (ankle) on the shelf.
While it's never good to lose three starters, the good news for the Bears, besides their 2-0 record after another close one, is the second-stringers have performed well.
"The guys that filled in did a real good job," coach Dick Jauron said. "They played hard. We were concerned but we have a lot of confidence in them and they stepped up and did what they're supposed to do."
Alfonso Boone replaced Washington on the inside of the defensive line Sunday, and veteran Keith McKenzie lined up on the end.
"Boone came in and I thought he played a heck of a game," defensive end Bryan Robinson said. "We got his motor going a bit when we told him Ted wasn't coming back."
Results of Washington's MRI exam won't be known until late Monday or Tuesday.
Fifth-round draft pick Alex Brown, inactive for the first game, saw his first professional playing time and batted down a Michael Vick pass in his short time at end.
A last-minute decision to move Robinson from left to right end left the veteran a bit upset.
Jauron defended the decision, saying Robinson is still recovering from two broken wrists and McKenzie is more comfortable playing on the left side.
"I'd say it accomplished what we wanted," Jauron said. "B-Rob is still regaining his strength and had a little bit of trouble on that side. We thought we flip him over and let Keith play where he usually does. It worked out, but we'll see where it goes." Daniels, the starting right end, said he expects to be back by the Oct. 7 Green Bay game.
The offense sustained only one injury of concern. Starting right guard James "Big Cat" Williams, who left the game early with a hip flexor injury, is listed as day to day. He expects to play next week against New Orleans.
First-round pick Marc Colombo replaced Williams and played penalty-free football.
Which is saying a lot considering the team was flagged for seven penalties for 79 yards, including five roughing the passer penalties and one illegal use of the hands that resulted in Leon Johnson being ejected.
Dick Jauron, known for keeping his cool, even lost it after the ejection. But Jauron detests penalties, saying they represent an undisciplined team.
The roughing calls routinely helped Atlanta out of trouble. And at times it seemed the Falcons marched down the field aided only by the Bears' aggressiveness.
"We don't want to be a penalized football team," Jauron said. "It makes the game harder to win. It certainly made it much harder to win yesterday."
They were agressive penalties. Unfortunately those cost 15 yards. Bryan Robinson said all those calls won't make the defense think twice about taking a shot at a quarterback in the future.
"It doesn't make you tentative," Robinson said. "You still go out and try and run your helmet through a guy's chest. Of course, if they call that penalty, then that means you probably did it a little too hard. ... They make the calls and you live with it."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times