- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Seemingly non-stop suggestions regarding the viability of defensive end Shea McClellin as a potential successor to Brian Urlacher reached crescendo when the middle linebacker suffered a hamstring injury Sunday against that might end his season.
As usual, the club shrugged off the possibility and reinforced -- once again -- that McClellin's place on the roster is as a defensive end. Asked about the possibility of moving McClellin to linebacker if the group continues to suffer attrition through injuries, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said, “it's so far away, it's not even (a possibility)."
"It's hard to even explain it to you," Marinelli said. “But it would be like night and day, totally. Guys have got to grow up, (go through an) offseason, all those things. We've got our guys and we've just got to go with them right now."
Linebacker Lance Briggs also struck down the notion, saying “no, we're not a 3-4," but acknowledged he possesses the necessary skill set to make the transition from defensive end to NFL linebacker. The 19th overall pick in the 2012 draft, McClellin played defensive end at Boise State, outside linebacker and also lined up at middle linebacker on occasion.
Through the first 12 games, he's contributed six tackles and three sacks to go with 12 quarterback pressures.
"We're using him the right way," Briggs said. “Our game plan and the way we run our defense is effective enough. You don't have to go out and do a bunch of extra things. If we just go out and play our solid defense, we'll be fine."