The Bears have lost their most consistent offensive lineman for the rest of the season.
Lance Louis, who started the Bears' first 11 games at right guard, was placed on injured reserve Monday because of a knee injury that he sustained in Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings. Louis was injured on a blindside hit by Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, who leaped to knock down Louis during an interception return early in the third quarter.
Bears coach Lovie Smith said Allen's hit was unnecessary.
"I think our game could do without that play," Smith said. "We have an injured player right now based on it. I think he could have gotten blocked a little bit differently, but that’s about all I can probably say about it.
"I’m sure the league will look at it and give another opinion about what they think.”
Minus Louis, the Bears could insert Edwin Williams into the starting lineup or have Gabe Carimi start at guard. Carimi never had played guard before he filled in Sunday because of injuries.
Smith did not provide any information on the status of the Bears' other injured players, including running back Matt Forte (ankle), cornerback Charles Tillman (ankle), wide receiver Devin Hester (concussion) and left guard Chris Spencer (knee).
The Bears will return to practice on Wednesday at Halas Hall. They will host the Seattle Seahawks (6-5) next Sunday at Soldier Field.