BEARS MATCHUPS TO WATCH
The Bears' run defense without injured MLB Brian Urlacher against Lions rookie running back Kevin Jones, who has rushed for 711 yards in his last six games, averaging 5.6 yards per carry -- The Bears are No. 25 in rushing yards allowed and have allowed an average of 162 rushing yards in games without Urlacher.
BEARS INJURY IMPACT
Fullback Bryan Johnson (foot, out), safety Todd Johnson (ankle, probable), cornerback Todd McMillon (hamstring, questionable) and defensive end Adewale Ogunleye (calf, questionable) all missed practice Wednesday. Offensive tackle John Tait (knee, questionable) took a few reps. McMillon, one of the Bears' best special-teams players, is not expected to play, while Johnson will. Unless Tait has a relapse, he is expected to start because his replacement, Aaron Gibson, has been getting beaten badly by speed rushers, and the run game and pass protection have been in steady decline the last two weeks. Ogunleye should play. He gets at least one day off each week to reduce wear and tear on a nagging injury.
LIONS GAME PLAN
The Lions management is frustrated with the 5-9 record but believes it has put in place a solid offensive nucleus. The remaining two games will give the Lions a chance to finish on the upswing. They will continue running the ball with rookie RB Kevin Jones until the Bears prove they're capable of stopping him. And they will give QB Joey Harrington a chance to demonstrate that his new, aggressive approach in throwing the ball will work two weeks in a row. Defensively, the Lions have played the run well in recent weeks, so they will force the Bears to go to the air, then go after QB Chad Hutchinson.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Lions OLB Teddy Lehman vs. Bears RB Thomas Jones -- Jones leads the Bears in both rushing yardage (731) and catches (49), so Lehman and MLB Earl Holmes have to stay on him virtually every play.
Lions QB Joey Harrington vs. Bears CB Jerry Azumah -- Harrington says he will take a more aggressive approach, but he can't afford to become careless. Azumah has four interceptions, including one he returned 70 yards for a TD.
Lions RB Kevin Jones vs. Bears WLB Lance Briggs -- Jones is giving the Lions their best rushing game since James Stewart gained 1,184 yards and scored 10 TDs in 2000. With Brian Urlacher missing playing time, Briggs has become the Bears' run-stopper.
LIONS INJURY IMPACT
WR Tai Streets (knee) missed practice time Wednesday on the first day of preparation but will probably play. CB Fernando Bryant (ankle) is getting more practice this week and has a good chance of returning this week.