Injury sidelines Bears' Stewart

Updated: October 16, 2003, 3:03 AM ET

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- In a homecoming of sorts, Chris Chandler will start for the Chicago Bears on Sunday against the Seahawks in Seattle, replacing Kordell Stewart, who has a leg injury.

Chandler, a 16-year pro veteran from the University of Washington who has started for seven NFL teams, practiced Wednesday with the first team and coach Dick Jauron told him of his assignment at the end of practice.

With the Huskies he started 26 consecutive games, including the Freedom, Sun and Independence bowls, and finished third in school history in total offense with 4,442 yards and in touchdown passes with 32.

Last season Chandler completed 103-of-161 passes for 1,123 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions in relief of Jim Miller.

"I know this offense a lot better," Chandler said. "I feel a lot more comfortable with this offense than I did last year. So I just tried to get all my physical work in and just try to be ready for whatever opportunity comes."

The exact nature of Stewart's injury wasn't disclosed. Jauron and Stewart merely said only that his left leg was swollen.

Stewart said the injury happened two weeks ago in the Bears' 24-21 win over Oakland while he fell out of bounds. Stewart said he aggravated it in Sunday's 20-13 loss to New Orleans.

"It's a situation where I tweaked it a little bit," Stewart said.

Stewart has completed 75-of-144 passes for 745 yards with four touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Bears (1-4).

Jauron wouldn't speculate on what would have happened with the starting quarterback job this week had Stewart been healthy.

"It's a question that doesn't need to be answered, really," Jauron said. "The fact is that Kordell is hurt and Chris is playing this week."

Chandler may not be the only new face in the Bears' backfield. Running back Anthony Thomas has a sore foot and didn't practice Wednesday.

Thomas has been listed as doubtful for the game and would be replaced by second-year player Adrian Peterson.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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