The Bears and Vikings released their official injury reports on Friday, as they prepare to square off for the second time in three weeks on Sunday in Minnesota.
For the Vikings, eight players are listed on the injury report as "probable" to play. So, it appears that everybody on their roster will be healthy enough to be active (keep in mind they placed star wide receiver Percy Harvin (ankle) on injured reserve this week, though).
The Bears, meanwhile, are very banged up. We informed you earlier in the week about middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring) likely being out for at least the next three games, so it's no surprise that he's officially been ruled out for Sunday. Also ruled out for the game are cornerback Tim Jennings (shoulder) and Earl Bennett (concussion).
Jennings left Soldier Field with his arm in a sling following the Bears' loss to the Seahawks, and was seen in a sling at Halas Hall earlier in the week as well. Against the Vikings, Jennings' absence may not be a huge deal because of the Vikings' major struggles in the passing game. However, the Bears could badly use the NFL's interception leader against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers next week at Soldier Field.
There's no clear timetable for Jennings' return yet, but according to ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson, the cornerback "is not expected to miss significant time" :
Jennings will re-evaluate his injured shoulder next week and is not expected to miss significant time.So, hopefully Jennings will be able to return for the Packers game. In the meantime, veteran Kelvin Hayden will start in Jennings' place at cornerback, with D.J. Moore stepping into the nickel back role. Moore's had a knack for the big plays in the past for the Bears, but struggled in a few games this season and was a healthy inactive for two of the last three games. He has a great opportunity this week to prove he deserves to be active on gamedays going forward.
As for Bennett, the Bears' slot receiver suffered a concussion against the Seahawks, and apparently wasn't medically cleared by doctors to be able to play this week (or practice, even).
Ready for some good news? Me too. Bears wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Devin Hester, are expected to play vs. the Vikings after they both missed the Seahawks game. The Bears desperately need Jeffery as they DESPERATELY need to find another quality option in the passing game outside of Brandon Marshall. Hester's struggles as a receiver have been well documented, but he still brings the Bears a vertical threat in the passing game that they haven't had outside of Marshall. I'd like to see the Bears throw him a bomb or two on Sunday to at least keep the defense honest, and to put that threat in the minds of the Packers as they gameplan for the showdown next week.
In other Bears injury news, running back Michael Bush (ribs), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (foot), and offensive guard Chris Spencer (knee) are all listed as "questionable" to play on Sunday.
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