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BEARS DEMOTE MIRER TO THIRD-STRING QB

Nine days ago, Chicago Bears coach Dave Wannstedt said his plan was for Rick Mirer to be the starting quarterback the rest of the season.

On Sunday, he yanked him at halftime during a loss to New Orleans. On Monday, Mirer lost his starting job to Erik Kramer. And on Wednesday, Mirer was demoted to No. 3 behind Steve Stenstrom, who's thrown four career passes.

"Yeah, I'm upset," Mirer said. "I want to throw chairs through windows, but that's not going to solve anything. I need to play better. Hopefully things that are told to me happen. That's all I ask for."

Mirer, acquired from Seattle in a trade that cost the Bears a first-round draft pick, has a three-year, $10 million contract. But he's been struggling and hasn't generated a touchdown in his three starts this season. The Bears as a team are 0-6.

Elsewhere, Jacksonville cornerback Aaron Beasley, who played the entire game Sunday in a 21-13 win over Cincinnati, has a fractured hip socket and will be out indefinitely. When and how the injury happened was unclear. . . . An arrest warrant has been issued in Rockwell, Texas, for Baltimore Ravens running back Byron "Bam" Morris as part of an attempt to revoke his 10-year probation on a 1996 drug conviction. . . . Cincinnati offensive tackle Kevin Sargent returned to practice for the first time since the 1996 preseason. Sargent, 28, has been out since having surgery for a herniated disk in his neck in August 1996.

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