If you had told me an hour ago that Julius Peppers was active and starting tonight after being listed as "Doubtful" all week, I would've thought for sure that it would be the biggest pregame surprise for the Bears. But instead, it has to do with safety Chris Harris.

I informed you on Friday about the Bears benching Harris and fellow safety, Brandon Meriweather, in favor of safeties Chris Conte and Major Wright. Well, not only has Harris been benched, but he's INACTIVE tonight. And he's not injured(or at least that's what I've read so far).

So, why is he inactive? There's not an answer to that yet, but you can be sure that it will be brought up in the postgame interviews.

Here's a possibility though: The Bears intend to trade Harris by Tuesday's trade deadline.

He's a free agent after the season's over, and Jerry Angelo drafted Wright and Conte in the last two years. And here they are starting tonight. Clearly, the Bears, or at least Angelo, plan on these players being starters going forward.

Chris Harris seems to know that too. Look at these excerpts from the Chicago Tribune on Thursday:

"They are going with their future, and I'm not the future or in their future plans,'' Harris said. "So they have to see what they have in Major and Chris. It's a business, and I will treat it as such.

"We all know I'm not going to be here next year, so that's always a possibility,'' Harris said.
So, it would seem very possible that a trade could be on the way. And if the Bears don't think Harris helps them much this year, it would make sense. Get a draft pick of some sort(probably round 5-7) rather than nothing at the end of the year when they let him walk.

However, from what I've seen since the beginning of last season, Harris is the best safety on the roster. And most people around the team seem to feel the same way still. Yes, he looked very bad against the Lions, but that was his first game back after missing the previous three games due to injury, and against the Stafford/Megatron combo. So I think it's unfair to come to any conclusions solely from that performance.

If Harris has indeed played his last game as a Bear, and Conte, Wright, Meriweather, and Steltz struggle at safety, there's no doubt there will be a ton of criticism headed Angelo and Lovie Smith's way.

As For Other Active/Inactive News:

Defensive tackle Matt Toeaina, offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, wide receiver Earl Bennett, defensive end Corey Wootton, and defensive end Nick Reed are inactive for the Bears.

Anthony Adams starts in place of Toeaina at nose tackle, and Wootton and Reed being out must have the Bears thinking Peppers' knee will not be a big issue tonight. Also, it's worth noting that Bennett will apparently be good to go fully in practice this week and could return for the game in London against the Buccaneers next Sunday.

For the Vikings, #1 wide receiver Percy Harvin is active after being listed as "Questionable". Cornerback Antoine Winfield headlines their group of inactives.

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