With Jim Lachey and Joe Jacoby scheduled to start together on the left side of the Washington Redskins' offensive line against Chicago Sunday, the sun will be lucky to break through, much less the Bears' Richard Dent.

The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Lachey and 6-7, 310-pound Jacoby -- who played left guard for the first time since his rookie season of 1981 -- were forced together by injuries last week, and with Russ Grimm (sprained shoulder) still not practicing, they will remain together for at least another game.

"It's certainly big on that side," Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said.

"{Joe} makes me feel like a tight end because he's such a big guy," Lachey said.

The pair comprise the largest side of a line in Redskins' history, but it's not only bulk they bring to the party, but also a combined five Pro Bowls and 16 years of NFL experience.

The seemingly successful conversion of Jacoby to guard gives offensive line coach Jim Hanifan another option on an already versatile line. Hanifan worked Jacoby at guard a month ago, but an injury to Ed Simmons forced him back to tackle. But when Simmons returned, Jacoby was able to get more work at guard.

"Years ago, if a guy was a tackle, I'd play him at guard and vice versa," Hanifan said. "I would do that with the idea in mind that the guy might eventually be starting at the other position, but that he'd know what problems the guards, tackles and centers had."

Of the Redskins' linemen, Grimm and Raleigh McKenzie each can play all three positions and Jeff Bostic, Mark Schlereth and Mark Adickes can play center and guard.

"It's a very interchangeable line," Jacoby said. "It's better to know all the positions. If you're playing tackle and you've played guard, you know what the guard's going to do."

"I'm getting worried," Lachey joked. "I might have to learn another position."

Left tackle Lachey led the line in last week's 42-20 win over the Miami Dolphins, when the Redskins rushed for 222 yards against the NFL's top-rated defense. As a result, he was named the NFC offensive player of the week. A Pro Bowl selection with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987, he seems to be on the path back to Hawaii.

But Gibbs was especially excited about the play of Jacoby, who had major knee surgery in the offseason and was playing a position he had grown a little unfamiliar with.

"He's been an exemplary Redskin," Gibbs said. "He has a real drive. Joe probably didn't have to do this anymore. . . . He's made a miraculous recovery."

Of his new position, Jacoby said, "It's a little different in there. It's tighter as far as the reads."

Jacoby now sees the counter gap -- a staple of Redskins' playbooks for years -- in a different light. "Usually, I'm following the guard," he said. "Now I am the guard. I see the action a little sooner."

Lachey said he's enjoyed playing next to Jacoby, who outweighs Grimm by 35 pounds. "Those 35 pounds make a big difference," he said. "If he gets a hold of a guy, he can pretty much throw him around."

During last week's game, Lachey had to remind Jacoby of his role on certain plays. This week, that hasn't happened. "I'd start to tell him something and he'd say, 'Shut up, I know,' " Lachey said. "He's studied hard. He'll do a good job."

This week, the 10-2 Bears will be at RFK Stadium in a game vital to the playoff hopes of the 7-5 Redskins. One of the keys to the game will be Washington's success in stopping Dent, who possesses some versatility of his own, lining up in different places along the defensive line. But he prefers the right side, which will put him up against Lachey and Jacoby.

"He's a good player, he's got everything for a defender," Jacoby said. "Good strength, good quickness. He uses it all, but you don't know what he'll use. You've got to be ready for him on every play."

By virtue of his position, Lachey usually matches up with the opponent's strongest pass rusher. Last week, he handled Dolphins right end Jeff Cross. Last year, he helped prevent the 6-5, 268-pound Dent from making a single tackle in Washington's 38-14 victory here.

"With our scheme of things, we're going to have a lot of guys banging against him," Lachey said. "He's a very good player, very physical and aggressive."

But if the offense repeats last week's performance, Dent's play may not matter.

"I think {the Miami game} stood out for the whole offense," Lachey said. "We've had nine guys play well and lose. But last week, we had everybody playing great. I was fortunate enough to have won the award, but it really could have gone to anybody on the offense."