CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 25: Lance Louis #60 of the Chicago Bears moves to block against the Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
So long, Lance Louis. The best member of the Bears' offensive line has reportedly signed with the Miami Dolphins.
Louis was drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 draft, and developed into a reliable guard for the Bears. Chicago took a major hit when Minnesota's Jared Allen hit Louis with a forearm shiver and tore his ACL. Now, Louis is taking his talents to South Beach.
The Bears will have to figure out how to fill this major hole on the line. Though they upgraded at left tackle when they signed Jermon Bushrod, they have a whole new problem with Louis' absence.
When Louis was injured, Gabe Carimi moved inside at guard. He filled in admirably, and could try to compete for that position again this year. However, the height that made him a prototype tackle could be a problem at guard as he could block Jay Cutler's ability to see the whole field. The Bears could also turn to the draft to fill the hole.
Either way, Phil Emery and staff have to figure out how to replace a player who has served the team well.