By Bryan Dietzler
The 3-4 Chicago Bears, what are coming off a 17-3 win against the Carolina Panthers, will travel to the Big Easy to take on the 4-2 New Orleans Saints this Sunday. The Saints beat the Bears’ division rival, the Green Bay Packers, 26-17 and are looking to continue their winning ways.
The Bears’ defense was solid last week, but the offense had its problems. They need to pick it up on offense and help the defense keep the game under control and not let it slip away. Luckily for the Bears, the defense dominated versus the Panthers, but it could be a much different story against the high-flying Saints’ offense Sunday.
The following is a detailed look at how the injury report looks for both teams. Who is hurt? How will these injuries affect the game? Let’s find out.
The Bears had 11 players listed on the injury report during the week. Those players that practiced fully or weren’t on the injury report on Friday include nickel back Bryce Callahan (Neck), guard Kyle Long (Ankle), wide receiver Dontrelle Inman (Non-injury), quarterback Mark Sanchez (Illness) and defensive tackle Mitch Unrein.
It looks like none of those guys are going to miss Sunday’s game, so we won’t concentrate on them that much.
We want to worry more about who won’t be there. Right now, it appears as if special team’s ace Sherrick McMannis will be out with an injury. This hurts the Bears because McMannis is a reliable special teams player who can make a difference. Hopefully, he will be healed up soon.
Linebacker John Timu will miss the game because of injuries to his knee and ankle. The Bears will rely on Christian Jones and Nick Kwiatkoski for depth but, because Timu was a backup up player, they will miss just his depth at the linebacker position. Let’s hope that they don’t need it.
Defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris hurt his hamstring last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers and it looks like he won’t be able to play. He has been a valuable special teams player and helps provide some depth at defensive end. His value there will be missed.
Wide receiver Markus Wheaton is the last player listed as doubtful on the Bears’ injury report. Wheaton has a torn groin and will not play on Sunday.
There are two players listed as questionable that might sit out the game on Sunday depending on the severity of their injuries. Center Hroniss Grasu is still nursing a hand injury and may be inactive for the game depending on where the team thinks he is with his hand. He is needed because Cody Whitehair is struggling at center, but would he be better than Whitehair?
Finally, Benny Cunningham has a hamstring injury and could sit out one more week depending on where he is at in the healing process. He was listed as questionable on Friday and was limited in practice each day last week. It might be advisable that the sit this Sunday and take a couple more weeks off (because the Bears have a bye week next week).
The New Orleans Saints have four players listed on the injury report. Three practiced fully on Friday including offensive tackle Terron Armstead and wide receiver Willie Snead and Michael Thomas.
All three should be available Sunday.
New Orleans has one player who will be out, and this might have an impact on the game, especially in being able to get to Drew Brees. Guard Larry Warford has an abdomen injury and will be out. The Bears could see some success getting to Brees because of this. Keep an eye on Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman getting past his replacement and getting to the quarterback.
Inactive Players for this Game for the Bears
WR Dontrelle Inman
LB John Timu
C Hroniss Grasu
DE Roy Robertson-Harris
WR Markus Wheaton
CB Sherrick McMannis
QB Mark Sanchez
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