Bears sign ex-49ers guard Chilo Rachal
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com April 18, 2012 9:38PM
Updated: May 21, 2012 8:47AM
The Bears, looking for more competition and depth on their offensive line, agreed to terms with former 49ers starting guard Chilo Rachal on a one-year contract Wednesday.
Rachal, 26, a second-round draft pick in 2008 (39th overall) out of USC, started 38 games for the 49ers but was replaced by Adam Snyder against the Bengals at halftime of Week 3, when the 49ers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 13-8.
The 6-5, 323-pound Rachal played sparingly on offense the rest of the season. He replaced an injured Snyder in the first quarter against the Ravens in Week 12, when Alex Smith was sacked nine times in a 16-6 loss. When left guard Mike Iupati was injured in the NFC title game against the Giants, Snyder moved to left guard, and Rachal replaced Snyder at right guard. Rachal has played exclusively at right guard in the NFL.
After scrambling to find continuity on their offensive line because of injuries in 2011, the Bears will have plenty of competition at guard heading into training camp. Lance Louis was a solid starter at right guard but had to be moved to right tackle when rookie Gabe Carimi suffered a dislocated knee against the Saints in Week 2. Chris Spencer replaced Louis at right guard and started the last 14 games.
If Carimi is healthy enough to start in 2012, Louis presumably would move back to the starting right guard position. Chris Williams started the first nine games at left guard in 2011 before suffering a dislocated wrist. Edwin Williams replaced him and started the last seven games.