In a season full of changes, the Bears offensive line figures to once again feature a different starting five on Sunday against Seattle.
Left tackle Chris Williams appears ready to return from a hamstring injury he suffered Week 2 in Dallas. Williams spent last week testing out his hamstring by working on the side with a member of the team’s training staff, a strong sign the former first-round pick is close to being able to practice.
When Williams jumps back into the mix, the Bears will be forced to decide between Frank Omiyale and rookie J'Marcus Webb at right tackle, assuming Williams settles back into his old job on the left side. The Bears paid Williams to be their left tackle of the future, so moving him again to right tackle might be counterproductive. Without question, Williams struggled in the preseason and in training camp when matched up against Julius Peppers, but it may be premature to assume the Bears are ready to pull the plug on the idea of Williams as the team’s left tackle.
The choice between Omiyale and Webb, however, may be more difficult.
It's obvious the Bears are very high on Webb -- a 2010 seventh-round draft choice -- and envision the rookie as a future full-time starter. The Bears love his size and aggressiveness, but like most first-year players, Webb occasionally isn't sure where he's supposed to be.
Omiyale, for the most part, has played well this year, but did have two penalties against Carolina. Webb also was flagged twice, although one holding call was declined. It's safe to say Omiyale didn't play his best football in Week 5.
It's only a matter of time before Webb, if he stays healthy, permanently cracks the starting lineup. But should that time be now?