The Bears and Jaguars meet Sunday at Jacksonville's EverBank Field, and following practice on Friday, the teams released their injury reports for the game.
Here they are:
Bears Injury Report
Out: FB/TE Evan Rodriguez (Knee).
Questionable: WR Earl Bennett (Hand; Limited Participation)
Probable: RB Matt Forte (Ankle; Full Participation), DE Julius Peppers (Ankle; Limited Participation)
Jaguars Injury Report
Out: WR Laurent Robinson (Concussion), LB Daryl Smith (Groin)
Questionable: DE George Selvie (Knee; Limited Particpation)
It seemed possible Evan Rodriguez would be able to go this week, but the Bears are understandably going to play it safe with their rookie, and let his sprained MCL completely heal (and keep in mind he gets the bye week after this game, too). Additionally, Matt Spaeth played well in place of Rodriguez against the Cowboys, and that could've only enhanced the Bears' decision to let Rodriguez rest the knee.
Earl Bennett is "Questionable" for the second straight week, and this time, he thinks there's a good chance he'll be able to go:
How does Bennett's hand feel?
"It went good," Bennett said after practice Friday. "I was feeling a lot better. We'll see what happens this weekend."
Bennett said he thinks he can play against the Jaguars on Sunday.
"Yeah, it's feeling a lot better. I'm able to catch the ball a lot better," he said. "I'm just looking forward to this weekend to see what happens."
And Bears head coach Lovie Smith had this to say:
"Evan Rodriguez will not play this week," coach Lovie Smith said. "We have everybody else available to play. Everybody else practiced in some form I'd say today.Source: Chicago Sun-Times
So it certainly sounds like Bennett is better than the assumed 50/50 label for a player with the "Questionable" tag. But, if he can't go, Dane Sanzenbacher will be active again and get some playing time in the slot.
Matt Forte was able to suit up vs. the Cowboys, but his ankle was clearly bothering him. Getting full participation in practice today is a good sign that the ankle is feeling much better, and barring a setback, will be the Bears' starting running back on Sunday.
Julius Peppers has dealt with some bothersome ankle/foot issues for a while now, but it's not believed to be anything that will keep him out of any games. And he'll get some rest with the bye week coming up.
For Jacksonville, they'll be without two solid veterans in wide receiver Laurent Robinson and linebacker Daryl Smith.
Robinson signed a 5-year, $32.5 million contract with the Jaguars in the offseason after reeling in 54 catches and a whopping 11 touchdowns for the Cowboys in 2011. The 27-year-old receiver hasn't had much of a chance to get similar production going with the Jaguars, though, as he's suffered 3 (!) concussions in the last 2 months, with his most recent concussion coming on Sunday (and that's why he won't be able to face the Bears). Without Robinson, Kevin Elliot, Cecil Shorts, and Mike Thomas figure to get more snaps (rookie first-round pick Justin Blackmon is locked in as one of the starting wide receivers).
As for Smith, he hasn't played in a game yet this season due to a groin injury. Backup Kyle Bosworth (16 tackles and 1 interception on the season) is expected to start in his place again.
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