Nathan Vasher Breaks Hand; Could be Out for Season

A second season ends in injury?

(AP) -- Chicago Bears defensive back Nathan Vasher has a fractured right hand and will miss Sunday night's game against the Minnesota Vikings when the teams meet at the Metrodome for first place in the NFC North.

Vasher, sidelined for three games earlier this season with aninjury to his right wrist and thumb, was hurt Sunday against theSt. Louis Rams. Bears coach Lovie Smith said Vasher also reinjured his thumb. "He'll be out for a while," Smith said Wednesday, adding no surgery is required right now.

Could Vasher be headed to IR? "Right now all I can say he is out. He's not playing this week," Smith said. "Whenever you have a fracture, you reinjure the same hand you had trouble with, you can go from there. Right now, I just know he's out this week."

Vasher, who appeared in only four games a year ago because of a groin injury, has 18 career interceptions, but only two in the last two seasons. His nickname is "The Interceptor."

Corey Graham is expected to start against the Vikings. "We feel comfortable with him playing, as we do with Trumaine McBride, so we have a couple of other guys who have played a little bit of ball," Smith said. "It's still hard when you lose your starter, a guy like Nate."

Vasher didn't play in an earlier game against the Vikings this season when the Bears prevailed 48-41 at Soldier Field. This time the teams (both 6-5) will square off in the din of the Metrodome. "It's an issue, no doubt about it. We practice all week with the noise," Bears quarterback Kyle Orton said. "We played in loud places before and played well. You get to this point in your career, I don't think it should be that big of a factor."


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