Bears QB Hanie to miss preseason time with sprained shoulder

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago backup quarterback Caleb Hanie sprained his right shoulder in Saturday's loss at San Diego and will be sidelined for most of the remainder of the preseason.

Hanie suffered the shoulder injury in the third quarter of Saturday's game. He had an MRI done and wore a sling at camp Monday while watching practice. "It's a non-surgical thing," Hanie said. "It's just a minor pain. I've got to make sure that I'm pain-free while I'm throwing. If I'm not pain-free and able to throw, then I'm not going to be able to play."

With Hanie sidelined the Bears only have two quarterbacks in camp -- starter Jay Cutler and rookie Dan LeFevour.

"Only having two healthy guys, it's a little bit tougher for that," coach Lovie Smith said about the quarterback position. "We'll look at all our options."

It's unlikely the Bears will sign another young prospect.

"In an ideal world, he would have some experience," Smith said.

Hanie, a former Colorado State quarterback in his third season, has thrown only seven NFL regular season passes.

"The preseason is big for me to show my skill set, how I've progressed," Hanie said. "I feel I did a good job of showing at least some progress in the first game. I just made some good throws with the top group in there and moved around and avoided pressure, stuff like that.

"Obviously if I have to miss games or whatever that will be frustrating, but like I said, I'm glad I at least got one under my belt so far."

Against the Chargers, Hanie was 10-of-17 for 148 yards with a touchdown and one interception. If the Bears bring in a veteran, it's not out of the question Hanie could have his backup status challenged.

"I'm not worried about the No. 2 job," he said. "That's not even a worry for me. I felt like I've done enough to earn that position. What I have is not a season-ending injury, not even a half-season, not even beginning of the season."

LeFevour, a sixth-round pick from Central Michigan, struggled in the game with two completions in 10 attempts for 21 yards. On Monday he threw five interceptions in practice.

"For your first action in the NFL that's a tough situation to be in," Smith said. "A couple passes he would like to have back. I thought we could have helped him a little bit by catching a couple of them, but the guy gets a little bit better each day."

The Bears are fighting their way through several other injuries. Rookie safety Major Wright suffered a left index finger injury and is wearing a cast. Safety Craig Steltz is out with a sprained ankle. Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer has a foot injury and wide receivers Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett pulled hamstrings.

Missing Wright and Steltz is a tough blow for the secondary, but the team won't add another safety.

"We still have some numbers so we probably won't do anything there," Smith said.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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