As expected all three injured Chicago Bears starters have been ruled out of action for this Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
CB Tim Jennings (shoulder), MLB Brian Urlacher (hamstring), WR Earl Bennett (concussion) won’t be able to play against the Vikings after suffering injuries in the 23-17 loss last Sunday against the Seahawks.
Jennings and Bennett are expected to be out multiple weeks, while Urlacher could miss the final four games of the season, according to sources.
Jennings will be replaced in the starting lineup by veteran corner Kelvin Hayden and Urlacher will be replaced by stronside linebacker Nick Roach.
WR Devin Hester (concussion), WR Alshon Jeffery (knee) and T Gabe Carimi (hamstring) all practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday, but practiced in full on Friday. All three players are listed as probable and are expected to suit up on Sunday.
Hester passed all the concussion tests and will move back onto special teams as the kick returner and move in as the third receiver on offense.
Getting Jeffery back will be a huge boost to the offense considering the recent injury to Earl Bennett, who was just starting to gel as of late.
RB Michael Bush (ribs), DT Stephen Paea (foot), LG Chris Spencer (knee) are all considered questionable after practicing on a limited basis this week.
Bush and Paea are expected to play on Sunday, while Spencer will likely sit out one more week to get his injured knee back to 100%.
With all the injuries the Bears have been dealing with as of late it has become overwhelming. They must prove they can win even without some of their best players.
Hayden and Roach, who are starting in place of Jennings and Urlacher aren’t the same playmakers, but they’ve shown they are capable of stepping in when called upon.
This is a must win game for the Bears, who play against NFC North opponents in three of their four final games of the season.