The Bears were without two of their offensive linchpins — running back Matt Forte (knee) and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (groin, shoulder) — in last Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos. On the week’s only near-full practice on Tuesday, both were limited but afterwards both gave strong indications that they will be on the field together for only the fourth time in 2015, and that includes the first Green Bay game in which Jeffery didn’t start and was not at full strength.
“I definitely do want to be out there,” said Jeffery, also voicing his irritation at the mauling the Bears endured at the hands of the Packers last year. “At the same time, if the training staff sees how I feel and I don’t feel too well, I won’t be out there. If I’m feeling well, I’ll play.”
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Forte was more definitive about his level of participation and about his status for Sunday.
“It was more of a ... not a full-full practice, but I was running full speed because I wanted to get the feeling and timing of making cuts and doing all that stuff,” Forte said. “I did that before the pre-game on Sunday as well and I felt good. I’m good enough to go.”
Signs were less encouraging for wide receiver Eddie Royal (knee) and running back Ka’Deem Carey (concussion). The defense was jolted last week when safety Antrel Rolle suffered a knee injury in Friday's practice and Chris Prosinki was propelled into the starting lineup against the Broncos.
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Rolle did not practice on Tuesday and is not expected to play Thursday.
“It was unusual for a guy to go down late on a Friday afternoon but Chris was ready to go and did a commendable job,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “That’s just the way it is. All 32 teams have next-man-up mantras so one man’s problem is another man’s opportunity.
“We’ll see how Chris does this week for the second time.”
The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.
They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.
The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.
The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.
The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.
The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.
The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.
Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.
0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?
4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go?
5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami
7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?
10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game
11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?
13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making
17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?
18:00– Bears need to run the ball more
21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets
Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.