The Injury Bowl: Chicago Bears At Green Bay Packers
Week nine features the Chicago Bears against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.
The Packers are coming off a 44-31 win over the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday.
That game wasn’t as close at the score may indicate. The Packers dominated the game from the outset. The Vikings scored a couple touchdowns in garbage time. The Packers lit up the Viking defense with 285 yards passing and 182 yards rushing.
The Bears are coming off a bye and are 4-3, while the Packers are 5-2.
This is a much bigger game for the Bears than it is for the Packers. While the Packers heavily value divisional games, especially at home, the Bears can ill afford to drop to 4-4 and two full games behind the Packers going into week 10.
Both teams are very banged up; however the Packers are slowly getting some guys back.
James Starks returned last week against the Vikings and looked fantastic.
Casey Hayward practiced, but played limited snaps in Minnesota. Playing time may be tough to come by for Hayward in the short term, outside of sub packages, as the other defensive backs are playing very well.
Jarrett Bush also returned from a hamstring to his duties on special teams.
Brad Jones is nearing a return from his hamstring, but may have a hard time grabbing his base weak side linebacker spot back, because Jamari Lattimore has been fantastic. Jones may see snaps in dime sub packages if he’s a go.
James Jones was limited in practice this week, and sounds like he may give it a go.
For the Bears, the biggest loss has been quarterback Jay Cutler, who went down with a groin in week 7. He’s not expected back for a minimum of four weeks. The other big loss for the Bears was Lance Briggs, who separated his shoulder in week 7.
The Bears has already lost defensive lineman Henry Melton (ACL), and defensive tackle Nate Collins (ACL) for the season. They signed defensive tackle Jay Ratliff today to a one year contract. He was previously with the Dallas Cowboys before being released, and is still recovering from a sports hernia and a hamstring injury. He’s not expected to be available for another couple weeks at least.
The Bears haven’t won in Lambeau Field since 2007, and will have a hard time overcoming key injuries to win this week. The Packers have been having fun with their new found run game, and should have success against a Bears defense ranked 27th, giving up 391 yards per game. The Packers rushing offense ranks 3rd in the NFL averaging 141 yards per game.
The line on this game is Packers giving 10 and ½ points. I don’t normally swallow that many points if I’m betting, but this game I’d make the exception. I think the Packers are going to roll the Bears and shouldn’t have any problem covering. Go Pack!