Chris Williams -- you know, the guy who had a herniated disc in his back but was drafted in the first round by the Bears anyway? -- suited up in full gear Wednesday for the first time since his surgery seven weeks ago.
''I have no timetable,'' he said. ''I'm just taking it a day at a time, waking up every morning and seeing how it feels. [I'm] trying to get back in the mix and show I can play.
''I've still got to prove myself, being a rookie. Most of the guys get to do that in preseason, and it'll be my turn soon.''
Therein lies the main issue. The Bears offensive line has been serviceable, which is better than it was expected to be heading into the season. The team as a whole hasn't been able to close games -- they should likely be 3-0 -- and you can pin that on Greg Olsen's fumbles, Rashied Davis' drops, and a ridiculous penalty by Charles Tillman; among other things. The line hasn't been great by any stretch, but they are getting by.
Do you really want to throw a rookie into the fire who never even saw preseason action?
''We'll see how he's doing and bring him along,'' offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. ''It's hard, it's really hard. He had no training camp; he had no preseason. Not that he just didn't have it this year, he's never had it, so it's hard. ''We know what kind of athlete he is; we know what kind of player we believe he is going to be. But you can't until you see him under fire.''
Again, the coaching staff has no way of judging how he's going to actually perform on the field. If the Bears continue to blow games it won't be an issue. Just throw Williams in the proverbial fire.
But if the ship gets righted and the Bears play like they have for about 10 of their 12 quarters thus far, they'll be in the playoff race ... and you can't chance getting potentially bad results at that point.
Either way, it won't matter until late October at the earliest ... that's the plan now, according to general manager Jerry Angelo.