BEARS - DT Dusty Dvoracek (foot), FB Bryan Johnson (leg), S Brandon McGowan (knee)
LIONS - OG Tyrone Hopson (knee), Bill Swancutt (knee), LB Teddy Lehman (foot), WR Scottie Vines (hernia)
BEARS - none
LIONS - WR Shaun Bodiford (knee), TE Casey Fitzsimmons (wrist)
BEARS - none
LIONS - none
BEARS - LB Hunter Hillenmeyer (concussion), DL Israel Idonije (ankle), TE Gabe Reid (back), FB J.D. Runnels (ankle), FS Chris Harris (ankle), DT Tommie Harris (ankle), WR Justin Gage (rib)
LIONS - OG Ross Verba (knee)
BEARS - none
LIONS - none
Bears Offense vs. Lions Defense
Wide receivers Justin Gage (rib) and Mark Bradley (hip) were not able to contribute last week. Gage's height and Bradley's speed help the Bears get favorable matchups. Running backs Thomas Jones (hamstring) and Cedric Benson (shoulder) shook off preseason injuries to play extensively last week against the Packers. Although they looked healthy, the timing between the line blocking and the backs finding and hitting holes was clearly subpar against the Packers.
In spite of not having Teddy Lehman available, the Lions were able to hold the Seahawks to only nine points while keeping Shaun Alexander completely in check. Journeyman Paris Lenon is starting in the middle for now with Alex Lewis on the strong side. Rookie Ernie Sims is on the weak side. Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers (shoulder) was limited during the preseason. He returned last week to anchor the interior of the Lions defense and blocked a field goal. Marinelli's defense also favors a lot of cover-two schemes.
Detroit's defense presents a huge challenge for the Bears. Rogers and James Hall (2 sacks each) led a charge that totaled 5 sacks against the Seahawks. They held Seattle to just 264 total yards. Although the Lions are strong up front, they can be thrown on if there is time. Look for the Bears to continue their balanced attack and for the onus to be put on the shoulders of Rex Grossman once again.
Bears Defense vs. Lions Offense
Linebackers Hunter Hillenmeyer (concussion) and Lance Briggs (shoulder) missed portions of last week's contest. Brendon Ayanbadejo and Leon Joe filled in capably for each. Hillenmeyer's injury is more of a concern. Fortunately, his position (strongside linebacker) is frequently not on the field as a part of sub packages. Defensive end Alex Brown (shoulder) was healthy enough to start last week and is not listed on this week's injury report. Israel Idonije hasn't come back as fast as some would have hoped, which means rookie Mark Anderson should get a few more snaps. Anderson made the most of his limited action last week. Depth at defensive tackle makes the uncertainty surrounding Tommie Harris's status less alarming. Tank Johnson could see additional action if Harris is hindered. Safeties Todd Johnson and Danieal Manning saw plenty of time when Chris Harris hurt his ankle last week.
The Lions added wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim this week. Hakim already has familiarity with both Detroit and offensive coordinator Mike Martz from previous tours of duty with the Lions and Rams. The Lions have a new look on offense. They're led by quarterback Jon Kitna and feature Corey Bradford and Roy Williams at wide receiver (although Mike Furrey led them in receptions last week). Former first-rounder Charles Rogers has been cut, while Mike Williams (another first-rounder) wasn't even active for last week's game. Apart from left guard Ross Verba, the Lions are relatively healthy on offense.
Even though they were in a close game against the Seahawks, the Lions only gave the ball to running back Kevin Jones 14 times. Since Martz is likely to continue to forsake the run for the pass, expect to see the Bears in a lot of sub-package defenses. This will minimize the loss of Hillenmeyer if he cannot play and means more chances for acquisitions Ricky Manning Jr. and Dante Wesley to make an impact.