The Chicago Bears will be without the services of their seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs on Sunday, who has been ruled out for the Week 6 contest against the Atlanta Falcons due to a rib injury.
Briggs suffered the injury in Week 5. The 33-year-old missed six games last year with a shoulder injury.
For Chicago's linebackers, the bad news doesn't stop there. Shea McClellin (hand) will miss his fourth straight contest, while Jonathan Bostic (back) is questionable.
Head coach Marc Trestman today did not give any indication as to who would start where at the linebacker position, although Khaseem Greene appears the likeliest candidate to replace Briggs at WILL, while Christian Jones will fill in at SAM if Bostic can't play.
Starting Greene will be interesting, as the Bears thought so little of him early in the season they made him a healthy scratch in the first two contests.
"He’s fluctuated," Trestman said. "He’s had some great weeks where he’s practiced very well, and then it’s tapered off. He’s made a big push. He stayed with it. He’s worked extremely hard on the special teams side of it, working his way back into things. Khaseem is a very smart guy in terms of knowing what to do, where to be. He’s made plays when he’s played for us. He did it last year against Minnesota. He made a key play. We found him to be that kind of guy, and that’s the way he was in college, too. He was a playmaker, a difference making guy there. So we feel good about that."
Jones, an undrafted free agent, could make the first start of his NFL career.
"You work every day to make this team and to play on this team and to compete to play on this team. That’s how we do it," said Trestman. "Both of them have worked very hard. Christian has made some leaps, and we’ve seen that in practice. He’s been productive in practice as he continues to learn his position. They’re all in the mix, and they’re all gonna have to help us play and win."
Along with Bostic, cornerback Sherrick McManis (knee/quad) is also questionable.
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