The Bears arent quite ready to start open tryouts, particularly for wide receivers, but theyre getting close.
Receiverreturner Devin Hester (ankle) finished the week without being able to practice at all, and running back Marion Barber (calf) also did not practice for the third straight day.
Concerned, said Lovie Smith in an uncharacteristically candid negative injury summary. We have a little bit of time still before the game but its not looking real good.
Barber is officially doubtful and Hester questionable, as are Lance Briggs (ankle) and Henry Melton (shin).
Sources told CSNChicago.com that Caleb Hanie will remain as the No. 2 quarterback behind Josh McCown, with Nathan Enderle as the No. 3, if the Bears do keep three quarterbacks active.
So here is the offensive positional math as it stands:
The Bears will play the best team in the NFL with their third-string quarterback (McCown), their third- and fourth-string running backs (Kahlil Bell, Armando Allen), and missing potentially three of the six receivers that were their depth going into this season (Hester, Johnny Knox, Sam Hurd).
That leaves Earl Bennett, Roy Williams and Dane Sanzenbacher as their top three wide receivers, and Bennett will be pressed into service as the punt returner, if the depth chart is to be believed. Bell has returned kickoffs but now he is the starting tailback. Allen returned kicks while at Notre Dame.
Its a mess, anyway you move the pieces around.
But it also is a career opportunity to varying degrees for several of the principals.
McCown is hopeful of showing hes worth getting a contract and look through the offseason and training camp. Bell is a restricted free agent after this season, meaning he is playing for an upper-level tender offer. Allen has been on the practice squad all year but for two weeks.
Just being on the practice squad, you know that your opportunity can come anytime so you need to be ready, Allen said.
The Packers have declared tackles Bryan Bulaga (knee) andChad Clifton (hamstring), receiver Greg Jennings (knee) and defensive end Ryan Pickett (concussion) out, with defensive end Mike Neal (shoulder) questionable.