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Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Harris' injury give Meriweather a chance

By Jeff Dickerson

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chris Harris' sitting out Wednesday's practice with a bad hamstring could lead to increased playing time or possibly, depending on the severity of Harris' injury, a starting assignment Sunday for recently acquired safety Brandon Meriweather.

Meriweather rotated in at safety for a couple of series against Atlanta in Week 1 and finished with two total tackles.

"Just looking at what he able to do last week coming in with just a few days of practice, we were pleased with his first time out," Bears head coach Lovie Smith. "I'll just say he's been working overtime, final exams, all those ways of describing that what he's been doing to try get ready [and] more prepared for this week.'

"Of course the plan is try and continue to get him more reps this week. When you have a player like Chris Harris who misses today, he's able to get more reps in practice, and that's what it's about. Just practice reps and getting more and more comfortable in what we do. Hopefully we'll see more improvements this week."

Major Wright and Meriweather handled the first team reps at safety on Wednesday as Harris watched from the sidelines. The Bears moved Wright to strong safety and put Meriweather at free safety when the two were on the field together at the same time during the Falcons' game.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection for the New England Patriots, Meriweather made 40 starts over his first four years in the NFL.