Bears

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Bears

Injuries are all too much a part of the NFL but the Bears and Green Bay Packers have taken new hits that strike hard blows to their respective offenses.

The Bears lost left guard and former Packer Josh Sitton to a sprained ankle on the next-to-last play of their loss to Jacksonville. With Sitton unable to practice on Tuesday and expected to miss Thursday’s game, the Bears’ string of consecutive games with the same starting five would end at six and at a time when the group was performing as expected when the Bears landed Sitton following his release by Green Bay.

Ted Larsen replaced Sitton against the Jaguars but Eric Kush, a 2013 draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs who is on his sixth team, took snaps with the No. 1 offense. Kush, however, has not been active for a game this season, whereas Larsen has been the swing interior lineman for each of the Bears games. Either represents a dramatic falloff from Sitton.

“You look at his instincts and awareness,” Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. “He definitely has an excellent mind for the game of football. Played a lot of good football for us, obviously we won a Super Bowl with Josh. He did a hell of a job.”

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One objective of a defense is making the opposing offense one-dimensional. Injuries may have accomplished a significant part of that, unfortunately.

 

The Packers will be without their top two running backs because of injuries to Eddie Lacy (ankle) and James Starks (knee). Lacy is expected to be out several weeks after averaging 5.1 yards per carry in last Sunday’s loss to Dallas. And even with weight issues last season, Lacy has battered the Bears in six previous meetings, average 4.6 yards per carry and scoring six touchdowns.

“Eddie’s a powerful runner, a very instinctive runner and really an exceptionally intelligent football player,” McCarthy said. “I think his instincts and awareness are at a very high level. He has a bruising style of running. He breaks a lot of tackles.”

The Packers engineered a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs to bring in running back Knile Davis, a 227-pound runner with a career average of 3.3 yards per carry. The Bears saw Davis with the Chiefs last year when he carried twice for a total of two yards.