By Bryan Dietzler
After a bit of a longer break (having played their last game on Thanksgiving night a week ago) the Chicago Bears will be back in action at home this time against the San Francisco 49ers. The news on the injury front seems to have gotten better as for the first time in a few weeks there are not names on the injury report like Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte. It appears as if those two are ready to go and the Bears can really use them.
While the injury report was not huge, there are still some names on there that will bring a bout of slight concern to the upcoming game but it appears as if most of the injuries shown on Wednesday’s injury report aren’t too serious and it’s hopeful that a majority of the players can play.
The following is a player-by-player look at Wednesday’s injury report. There is some insight into whether or not the player has been playing as of late, how the injury might affect them and whether or not they may miss their upcoming game against the 49ers.
Martellus Bennett-Bennett missed the last game against the Packers with a rib injury that had sprung up after the Bears played the Broncos the week before. The coaching staff felt it would be better to hold him out of the game and they did just that. Luckily, the Bears were able to win the game without him. Bennett had full participation in practice on Wednesday despite the injury and it appears as if he will be a go for the game this Sunday. The rib injury might affect him in his ability to catch passes but if he has had time to heal, it may not be too big of an issue.
Ka’Deem Carey-Carey went out of the Denver game with a concussion and wasn’t a participant in the Bears game against the Packers last Thursday. Carey has since cleared the concussion protocol and was a full participant in practice this Wednesday. With Forte back in the lineup it’s more than likely that Carey is going to resume his role as the third running back on the depth chart and will most likely not see any game action. Look for Carey to be active in this Sunday’s game but probably not play.
Kyle Long-Long shows up on the injury report on Wednesday with a neck injury that he must have suffered in the Bears win against the Packers. Long was limited in practice but that is most likely a precautionary measure to not let it get worse before the game this weekend. The Bears will most likely allow him to remain limited in practice for the remainder of the week and play on Sunday. With this injury Long may be a little limited in blocking in game action but he is one that works well through pain and should be able to overcome the injury and have another solid game.
Pernell McPhee-McPhee has been on the injury report with a knee issue for quite some time and has even missed some game action (missing one full game and parts of others) because of this. He was limited in practice this Wednesday with that same injury and has been limited for a while. It might be a little more difficult to predict whether or not McPhee is going to play in Sunday’s game or not. They may decide to play him on a limited basis (much like they have done in the past) rather than shutting him down for the game. It depends a lot on just how bad the knee feels. Consider his status up in the air for Sunday as the Bears may use him sparingly or shut him down all together for this game.
Antrel Rolle-Rolle has been hampered by a couple of different injuries this season and the latest to affect him is a knee injury. Rolle has missed a few games and a lot of practice time because of the injury and did not practice this Wednesday. It would appear as if Rolle is going to be out of the game this Sunday and that Chris Prosinski will take his place. The nice thing for the Bears is that Prosinski has played pretty well so there isn’t a lot of drop off in talent there but the Bears would still like to have Rolle in the lineup because of his experience and play making ability. The Bears will most likely keep Rolle on the bench this Sunday and give him another week to rest so don’t look for him in the lineup.
Eddie Royal-Royal has been injured often this season and is still not practicing due to a knee injury he suffered a few weeks ago. The Bears have done well with the receivers they have had in the lineup in Royal’s absence so the team might not be rushing him back until he is fully healed. The Bears must expect him to be back at some point because they haven’t placed him on injured reserve yet so he is most likely going to be back in the lineup again before the season is over. Look for him to be out of the game coming up and guys like Marc Mariani and Josh Bellamy to take his place.
Matt Slauson-Slauson was not limited in practice Wednesday with a toe injury he suffered in the Green Bay game and was a full participant. The Bears (and other NFL teams) have to list all injuries on the injury report and being he had one they had to list it. Unless it gets worse as the week goes on, expect Slauson to continue to be a full participant in practice this week and play in the game against the 49ers this Sunday. The toe injury might affect his ability to move and block effectively depending on the severity of it but if he was a full participant in practice, it appears as if the injury might not be that severe.
Kevin White-White is not on the injury report but there is some news to discuss about him that just came up over the last couple of days. It appears as if White is doing individual drills increasing his participation in practice and making it appear, as if for now, he just may indeed see some playing time yet this season. White says he wants to play this year but that will depend on how well his lower leg holds up in the coming days (the Bears have until December 15th to decide whether to activate him or put him on injured reserve for the rest of the season) but his extra drills are encouraging. With this news, we may indeed see White on the field yet this season.
For the first time in a while, the Bear’s injury report is not filled with a lot of serious injuries that are going to keep a lot of key players out of a game. It’s amazing to not see Jeffery on the report and that is a good sign for the Bears. The only real big question on this week’s injury report is whether or not McPhee will play. It’s likely he will participate in the game against the 49ers but he may be limited. Rolle and Royal look like they will miss Sunday’s game but everyone else should participate. Hopefully the Bears come out of the game with no injuries but that seldom happens in an NFL game.