I want to start tying up some loose ends as we get closer to the Bears’/Packers’ game on Monday night. It means a lot to both teams but probably much more to the Bears. At the beginning of the season the NFC North was expected to be a two-team race between Minnesota and Green Bay but all of a sudden the Vikings are struggling and the Pack has a couple of key injuries notably to star running back Ryan Grant who is out for the season. Also the Bears have now shocked the world by beating Dallas at home ending up 2-0.
The Bears have posted some assorted information at their website starting with the fact that they will not forget the Packers running game Monday night even though Grant is out and, they shouldn’t because the Packers will still have to try and run the ball to give their passing game a chance. That is good since the Bears have the number one-rated run defense in the NFL.
Generally speaking the power rankings Mavens have the Bears at nine and the Packers at three. Green Bay actually was dropped a point after playing the lowly Bills while the Bears moved up ten points because of their win over Dallas.
Looking at the injury report both teams have key players hurt. Linebacker Lance Briggs did not practice on Thursday because of an ankle injury but saw limited action on Friday. The same scenario occurred for defensive tackle Israel Idonije with a sore foot. Of concern for the Bears right now is that tackle Chris Williams and safety Major Wright, both with hamstring injuries, remained held out of practice through Friday. Wright has been battling injuries since preseason.
The Packers have been hit with a number of injuries. Of course the main injury was to Ryan Grant who is out for the year. The Packers still being held out of practice through Friday include fullback Korey Hall with a hip problem, tight end Tom Crabtree with an arch problem, defensive end Mike Neal with a rib problem, guard Daryn Colledge with a knee issue and safety Charlie Peprah with a quadriceps injury.
Of course there are two days to go so this is probably not the final look at injuries. Considering the nature of the rivalry these guys will do all they can to be playing Monday night.