Bears' Hester sidelined; Bucs' Garcia third QB

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears held out Pro Bowl kick returner Devin Hester from Sunday's game against Tampa Bay because of a rib injury, and the Buccaneers listed Jeff Garcia as their third quarterback.

Hester, off to a slow start, was injured during last week's 20-17 loss at Carolina and did not practice during the week. Garcia, a Pro Bowl pick last year, was replaced as the starter by Brian Griese in last week's 24-9 win over Atlanta.

Hester has six kickoff returns for just 120 yards and is averaging 11.3 yards on 25 punt returns this season. Even so, losing him is a big blow for Chicago.

With Hester out, Danieal Manning will play a bigger role on kickoff returns, with Nathan Vasher likely handling punt returns. On offense, Mark Bradley replaces Hester as the primary deep threat.

Garcia clashed with the Buccaneers over contract issues in the offseason, then watched as the team flirted with Brett Favre in July. A strained right calf caused him to miss most of training camp and the preseason, giving Griese the majority of the snaps with the first team, and coach Jon Gruden switched starters after a season-opening 24-20 loss at New Orleans.

The Buccaneers were also without Joey Galloway, who sprained his foot last week. Starting linebacker Derrick Brooks, who was questionable with a hamstring injury, was active.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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