After enjoying a week away from football, the Chicago Bears return to Soldier Field on Sunday to face the New Orleans Saints (5-1) in what will be a great measuring stick for how good this team actually is.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky (shoulder) is expected to make his return to the starting lineup and should have his complete cast of skill players around him, including wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, who returned to practice this week after missing the last two games with a concussion. And while right guard Kyle Long (hip) won't play another snap this season, Chicago's offensive line may actually enjoy an uptick in play with Rashaad Coward getting his shot.
The defense won't be as lucky, however. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks will miss at least the next eight games while he recovers from a dislocated elbow and while the rest of the starting 11 appears ready to go, Hicks' void will be almost impossible to fill. It's a bad week to be without him, too. The Saints feature one of the NFL's most efficient offenses, and assuming running back Alvin Kamara (knee, ankle) plays, he and all-world wide receiver Michael Thomas are arguably the best combination of skill players the Bears have faced all season.
So how will all this impact the outcome? You'll have to tune in to find out. And here's how you can watch, listen and stream the game:
New Orleans Saints (5-1) vs. Chicago Bears (3-2)
Date: Sunday, October 20
Time: 3:25 p.m. CST
Location: Soldier Field | Chicago, Ill
NBC Sports Chicago Coverage
Football Aftershow at the conclusion of the game
Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman
Stream on NFL Game Pass
WBBM 780 (Chicago) and 105.9 FM
Bears feed: XM 226
Saints feed: XM 383
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Be sure to tune in on the MyTeams App at 12 p.m. on Sept. 5 for the NFL Kickoff Show.
The NFL 100 All-Time Team just got a serious influx of speed and athleticism. Former Bears' legend and arguably the greatest special teams player of all time, Devin Hester, was named to the squad on Friday.
Hester played with the Bears from 2006 to 2013, racking up an incredible 31 return touchdowns (18 on kick returns, 13 on punt returns). Over his 11 season career, Hester collected a total of 11,028 return yards between kick and punt returns. Hester made four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams over his career.
The 2006 No. 57 overall pick out of Miami (FL) dazzled from the start of his NFL career, collecting 1,128 combined punt/kick return yards and 5 touchdowns.
But just as impressive as his overall effectiveness, was his penchant for rising to the moment. Hester's clutch moments included an 80+ yard punt return for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the infamous, "They are who we thought they were game".
And, of course, all NFL fans remember how Hester became the first player in NFL history to take the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl back to the house for a touchdown.
Hester was a shoo-in to make the NFL 100 All-Time Team, as he is the NFL's all-time leader in kick and punt return touchdowns but even, so his game was about so much more than just the numbers.
Devin Hester's unparalleled combination of speed and creativity in the open field delighted NFL fans in a way that perhaps no other player in history did or ever will.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.
Sam Panayotovick and Seth Gruen join Kap on the show.
0:00 - The Bears win again as they trounce the Cowboys. So did Mitch Trubisky save his job or was it just one good game?
12:00 - The Bulls look for their third straight win with the Warriors in town. Plus, Sam gives out his best bets for the weekend as the guys preview the college football conference title games.
17:00 - Comedian Steve Rannazzisi joins Kap to talk about the dumpster fire that is his Knicks. Plus Kap thanks his Giants for helping turn the Bears season around.
Listen to the full podcast here r via the embedded player below:
Sports Talk Live Podcast