The Bears and Saints are each going to be without key players when they square off Sunday(1 PM ET, Fox) at the Superdome in New Orleans.
Starting safety Chris Harris, starting right guard Lance Louis, and second-string running back(as well as short yardage and goal-line specialist) Marion Barber are all listed as "Doubtful" for the Bears. You can already consider them "Out".
Additionally, starting wide receiver Roy Williams, and second-string defensive end Corey Wootton are listed as "Questionable". Williams only practiced once this week(today), and in limited fashion. He'll be a "Game-Time Decision", but I doubt he plays. Wootton injured his knee in the August 13th preseason game against the Bills, and underwent arthroscopic surgery. He's practiced all week though and will likely be active on Sunday.
Harris is dealing with a hamstring injury, but it's not believed to be serious, so he'll likely be back next week in a huge game against the Packers. The Bears have a very capable player in two-time Pro Bowler Brandon Meriweather to replace Harris at safety, but he's still not 100% familiar with the defense after signing with the Bears on September 4th.
Additionally, starting safety Major Wright's coverage skills are still questionable in his second year, so a Meriweather/Wright safety tandem right now may give Drew Brees some holes to take advantage of in the Bears' Tampa-2 scheme.
Louis sprained his ankle in last week's game, and Chris Spencer replaced him at right guard. Spencer, who was a starting center/guard for the Seahawks over the last five years, did a solid job as Louis' replacement against the Falcons. A drop-off in production shouldn't be noticed here.
Barber missed last week's game due to a calf strain, and finally returned to practice on Wednesday. Well, he apparently had a setback with the injury. Kahlil Bell will replace him again, but Matt Forte will likely get the goal-line carries that Barber usually would.
You may remember Williams limping off the field after catching a first down in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's win against the Falcons. He suffered a groin injury, and it's still bothering him.
Much of the Bears' fan base would be just fine with Williams being out, and Knox replacing him at the starting "X" wide receiver position. On a turf surface, and against a secondary that was burned by the Packers in week one, getting the speedy Knox more playing time was probably a good idea anyway. However, Williams did play well in week one, catching all four passes thrown his way. He also made a great catch downfield on a third down pass that showed how he brings something to the table that none of the other Bears' main receivers do: Size.
Whatever the case, the Bears' passing game should still be effective in this game, provided the offensive line does the job(which is of course still quite a question mark). And Sam Hurd(Probable) should play after missing the last game. He can replace Williams in the red zone as a target for Cutler with his 6'3" height.
As for the Saints, #1 wide receiver, Marques Colston, will miss probably the next month after suffering a broken collarbone in week one against the Packers. Earlier today, it looked like wide receiver Lance Moore would be joining him on the bench, as Moore was listed as "Doubtful"(groin injury) on in the initial injury report that was sent out to the Bears' media members. But, that report was incorrect; Moore is listed as "Questionable", and it sounds like he's a good bet to play.
Starting safety Roman Harper, and starting cornerback Tracy Porter are listed as "Questionable" as well. Harper had nine tackles and a sack against the Packers. If Porter can't go, Patrick Robinson will probably step in at cornerback, and he looked bad against the Packers.
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