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Williams has surgery to repair herniated disk in lower back

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears first-round draft pick Chris Williams had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back, team spokesman Scott Hagel said Thursday.

The 14th overall pick, Williams was expected to start at left tackle, but those plans went awry when he left the Bears' second practice because of stiffness. He's been sidelined since but remains on the 53-man roster.

"Disappointed," coach Lovie Smith said. "When you draft a player like that, we have big plans for Chris. We still have big plans for Chris. They'll just be delayed a bit. We'd like to have him out there."

The Bears said there is no connection between that injury and a minor back problem Williams experienced at Vanderbilt.

With Williams out, John St. Clair started at left tackle in the preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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