BEARS - WR Airese Currie (foot), DT Dusty Dvoracek (foot), FB Bryan Johnson (leg), S Brandon McGowan (knee), Jamar Williams (shoulder)
CARDINALS - S Jack Brewer (shoulder), OG Rolando Cantu (knee), WR LeRon McCoy (thumb), RB Roger Robinson (toe),
BEARS - S Chris Harris (quadriceps)
CARDINALS - none
BEARS - none
CARDINALS - DT Kendrick Clancy (ankle), WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring), OG Milford Brown (ankle), LB James Darling (calf)
BEARS - WR Mark Bradley (ankle), LB Leon Joe (hamstring), DE Adewale Ogunleye (hamstring)
CARDINALS - none
BEARS - TE Desmond Clark (foot)
CARDINALS - S Robert Griffith (ankle)
Bears Offense vs. Cardinals Defense
The Bears are relatively healthy on offense. Tight end Desmond Clark (foot) is gradually improving and should be ready to make more of an impact for this week's contest. Running back Thomas Jones held off a training camp run at his starting position from Cedric Benson. Benson was the Bears' first-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Jones will be playing against the team that selected him in the first round back in 2000. Jones finally realized his potential as a Bear. He came up just short of 1,000 yards in his first season with Chicago (948) and then amassed 1,335 last year. He's coming off strong performances against Seattle and Buffalo.
The Cardinals may need to prepare without nose tackle Kendrick Clancy, who is hobbled with a sprained ankle. Gabe Watson will likely see more action if Clancy cannot play. Linebacker Karlos Dansby (2 sacks) appears to be winning playing time from Calvin Pace on the outside. It may only be matter of time before he's the starter. Pace was originally drafted as a defensive end and has been converted to linebacker. His best performance as a professional may have been at defensive end in a preseason contest against the Bears during his rookie year.
The Cardinals are an attacking defense led by safety Adrian Wilson. Wilson is a fierce blitzer. He picked up eight sacks last season and already has three this year. He also has 2 interceptions. One of them was returned for a touchdown. The Cardinals are surrendering 361 yards per game. Look for the Bears to continue the momentum they have built on the ground and to use quick passes to combat the blitzes of the Cardinals. For the Cardinals to be successful, they'll need to gamble and hope they guess right.
Bears Defense vs. Cardinals Offense
Defensive tackle Ian Scott and defensive end Adewale Ogunleye missed last week's game with hamstring injuries. The Bears are so deep on the line that they didn't miss a beat. Israel Idonije and Mark Anderson filled in capably for Ogunleye. Anderson increased his sack total by two to 5.5, which leads the team. Tank Johnson, Antonio Garay and Alfonso Boone were able to carry the load for Scott at tackle. Linebacker Lance Briggs missed some time in last week's contest with a leg injury but returned and does not appear on the injury report.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald injured his hamstring against the Chiefs and is not expected to play. This should open the door for Bryant Johnson and Troy Walters. Johnson is emerging as a big-play receiver. Right guard Milford Brown has an injured ankle. At first glance, there is good depth behind him with Elton Brown, Deuce Lutui and Chris Liwienski on the roster. But the Cardinals' offensive line hasn't impressed all season long. Cardinal quarterbacks have already been sacked 17 times. Blockbuster free agent running back Edgerrin James is only averaging 3.1 yards per carry. Whoever starts at right guard is likely to find a painful matchup against the Bears, who boast dominant defensive tackle Tommie Harris and his five sacks.
The Bears have not had to blitz much through the first five games because of the great pressure Harris, Johnson, Ogunleye, Anderson and Alex Brown have applied. This has allowed their safeties to be more active in coverage, limiting opposing offenses from big plays and touchdowns. They'll need another strong showing against a mobile rookie quarterback and a talented receiving corps.