Mike Tice once coached the Vikings.
In a season where the Bears offensive line has had more holes than SpongeBob, we can't really afford another setback. But here it is: Center Olin Kreutz sat out a second consecutive practice with a sore hamstring.
If Kreutz can't go, that means yet another shuffle for an offensive line that already has a serious identity crisis. The team continues rearranging the line in a game of three card monte. In the middle of that chaos has been Kreutz, holding down the line for 126 consecutive games.
Losing Kreutz would be like losing Curly from the Three Stooges. Sure, you can replace him with Shemp, but Shemp sucks. And really, how can you look at this line and think they are anything but a bunch of Shemps anyway?
You can bet O-Line coach Mike Tice is holding is breath, too. The former Vikings head coach would like nothing more than to shred his old team. So he paces and bites his lip like an expectant father, hoping Kreutz comes through.
All indicators say Kreutz will suit up Sunday. But the line will need more than a veteran presence. They'll need the other four slackers to rise up and push back a Vikings defensive line that's starving for sacks.
At 5-3, with a brutal schedule to come, the Bears will need to salt away any relatively easy games for a shot at the playoffs. The Vikings look like they've got the Hatfields, McCoys, Klingons and velociraptors in their huddle. If ever there were a team ready to be shoved off the cliff, it's them.
Say a prayer for Kreutz's hammies. Then say another prayer for enough draft picks so we can reload the entire offensive line next year.