Coaches John Robinson of the Rams and Mike Ditka of the Chicago Bears said Friday that they will not risk starting injured quarterbacks Steve Bartkowski and Jim McMahon in Monday night's game at Soldier Field.
So, for the second week in a row, Steve Dils will start in place of Bartkowski, and the Bears will go with Steve Fuller.
Bartkowski said this week that he felt good enough to play against the Bears, but Robinson has decided to rest his quarterback's ailing right knee for another week.
McMahon, who has already missed three games this season with a shoulder injury, did not throw a pass in practice Thursday or Friday, prompting Ditka to make the switch to Fuller.
Bartkowski and McMahon will be in uniform for the game and will be available to play.
Robinson said Friday that preparing for Fuller will be no different.
"We'll get ready the same way," Robinson said. "And with that scenario, you never really quite know what's going on."
McMahon, you'll remember, was not supposed to play in a game last season against the Minnesota Vikings, but he entered the game in the third quarter and threw for three touchdowns to lead the Bears to a comeback victory.
Dils is 2-0 as a starter this season. In last week's 14-7 victory over Atlanta, he completed 7 of 16 passes for 92 yards and had 2 interceptions.
Tight end Tony Hunter has a slight stress fracture of the shin, but the Rams have decided not to place him on injured reserve, thinking he might be able to play against New Orleans a week from Sunday. . . . The Rams, as expected, placed nose tackle Charles DeJurnett on injured reserve and activated nose tackle Alvin Wright to take his spot. . . . Bears' All-Pro defensive end Richard Dent will start Monday night against the Rams despite suffering from a mild case of pleurisy, an inflammation in the lining of the lungs. Dent practiced Thursday and Friday. . . . Coach John Robinson on Friday responded to Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka's mispronunciation of quarterback Steve Dils' name. "If he's going to call my guy Diles, I'm going to call his guy McMillen." . . . The Rams are not returning home after the Chicago game. They will fly to New Orleans early Tuesday morning and spend the week there preparing for their game that Sunday with the Saints.