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Musical Secondary: Bears Switch Afalava, Payne, and Manning

In what is becoming a recurring theme for the Chicago Bears, head coach Lovie Smith is shuffling around the defensive secondary in preparation for Sunday's game versus the Rams.

According to a league source, rookie Al Afalava is being switched to free safety on Sunday, whileKevin Payne is being inserted into the starting lineup at strong safety.

As the Chicago Sun-Times first reported, Danieal Manning is being moved back exclusively to nickel. The shift should allow Manning to focus on covering St. Louis rookie receiver Brandon Gibson in the slot. The Rams opened up with a three-receiver set last Sunday versus Seattle.

At this point in the season, especially with the way our secondary has been lit up by opposing offenses, I suppose it doesn't really make a difference. The secondary was an issue last season, and not much has changed this year. Afalava has been somewhat of a bright spot, but he has also played like a rookie at times, being out of position on some plays and getting beat in routes on others.  We'll see how this looks on Sunday.