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Bears’ Lance Louis expected to rest, keep job

Updated: November 10, 2011 10:27AM

Either Chris Spencer or Edwin Williams is expected to start Sunday at right guard in place of Lance Louis, who suffered a right ankle injury against the Atlanta Falcons.

Spencer and Williams split practice reps Wednesday.

‘‘They both had a really good day,’’ Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice said. ‘‘I felt going in we had much more depth than we had last year. It’s already come to a head where we’ve had to show that depth early on, which is OK. It’s a long season.’’

No matter who does what against the Saints, Tice indicated he still considers Louis the starter.

‘‘Lance had his highest grade as a Bear,’’ he said. ‘‘He put five guys on the ground in 20 plays. That’s a pretty good start to the game. He played physical, with great confidence. So right now we’ve got to worry about beating New Orleans. We’ll worry about the other stuff as it comes.’’

Rookie right tackle Gabe Carimi and second-year left tackle J’Marcus Webb had their difficult moments against the Falcons. But Tice was encouraged overall because both were on their own.

‘‘Neither tackle got help,’’ Tice said. ‘‘Going into this year — and it showed up really early in the game two times — we wanted to get Matt [Forte] out and get him in check downs instead of having him chip-helping, which was one of the reasons we were really pleased to get a tackle in the draft. If we could [avoid] having guys chipping every time and get them in underneath spacing, it’s going to help us out.’’

Injury update

There’s optimism that running back Marion Barber will make his Bears debut this Sunday against the Saints. Barber, who missed the season opener with a calf injury, returned to practice Wednesday, albeit in a limited fashion.

Safety Chris Harris (hamstring) didn’t practice, but his injury is not believed to be serious. Starting receiver Roy Williams (groin) also did not practice Wednesday.

Linebacker Lance Briggs (knee) and cornerback Zack Bowman (hamstring) were limited.

On a positive, defensive end Corey Wootton and receiver Sam Hurd, who both missed the season opener, practiced in full.

Cutler largesse

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, through his foundation, is giving away a pair of tickets to watch the Bears play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London on Oct. 23. It includes airfare, and accommodations. For more information, visit .

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