Injury Report: Bears at Jets

The Bears (8-1) return to the Meadowlands to face the New York Jets (5-4) after defeating the Giants there last Sunday night. The Jets are coming off an impressive victory over the New England Patriots. New York has won three of their last four games while only outscoring their opposition 81-75. Let's take a closer look at the injury report and how it will impact this week's matchup.

IR/PUP/NFI
BEARS - S Mike Brown (foot), WR Airese Currie (foot), DT Dusty Dvoracek (foot), FB Bryan Johnson (leg), S Brandon McGowan (Achilles), Jamar Williams (shoulder)
JETS - TE Jason Pociask (shoulder), DT Sione Pouha (knee), C Trey Teague (ankle), RB Curtis Martin (knee)

OUT
BEARS - none
JETS - none

DOUBTFUL
BEARS - none
JETS - none

QUESTIONABLE
BEARS - WR Bernard Berrian (ribs), LB Leon Joe (hamstring), CB Dante Wesley (knee)
JETS - RB Cedric Houston (knee), CB David Barnett (hip), WR Tim Dwight (thigh), FB B.J. Askew (foot)

PROBABLE
BEARS - WR Rashied Davis (shoulder), DT Tommie Harris (back)
JETS - QB Chad Pennington (calf), QB Patrick Ramsey (thigh), DE Rashad Moore (hand), C Nick Mangold (eye), WR Justin McCareins (foot), WR Laveranues Coles (calf), CB Andre Dyson (ankle), OG Pete Kendall (knee), CB Drew Coleman (thigh), RB Kevan Barlow (calf), LB Matt Chatham (foot)

Bears Offense vs. Jets Defense
Wide receiver Bernard Berrian didn't play last week because of a rib injury sustained in the game with Miami. The Bears are hopeful Berrian will be able to return to action this Sunday. Mark Bradley re-emerged as a playmaker last week (4-79, TD), stepping up after spending the majority of the season as a game day inactive. Bradley suffered a season-ending knee injury last year and appears to have made it all the way back. If Berrian's ready to play, it will mean Rex Grossman has another dangerous target.

The Jets defense has begun turning the corner on rushing the passer. They have seven sacks in their last two games. Under head coach Eric Mangini, they've changed fronts and brought blitzes from all over the field. Each of their starting four linemen registered a sack last week against the Patriots. However, the added pressure hasn't helped a run defense allowing over 135 yards per game over the last four contests.

Look for the Jets to mix overload blitzes off the edge and stunts through the middle to get pressure on Grossman, as some teams have had some success against the Bears in previous games. Grossman has been prone to throwing foolish interceptions when pressure is applied. The Bears will need to do their best to minimize that pressure, which may reduce tight end Desmond Clark's duties to being more of a blocker than a receiver. Separately, a dedication to running against a defense that has struggled to stop it should be in the offing.

Bears Defense vs. Jets Offense
Brian Urlacher was able to play with a sprained toe last week and performed well considering the injury. Todd Johnson and Chris Harris are splitting the duties at strong safety in place of Mike Brown, who was lost roughly a month ago to a foot injury. The Bears have surrendered 441 yards on 73 carries (6 yards per carry) over the last three games. The Bears pass rush hasn't been the same since Adewale Ogunleye returned from his injured hamstring. Neither he nor tackle Tommie Harris have had consistent pressure since Ogunleye's injury.

The Jets' offense is led by receivers Jerricho Cotchery (41-531, 4 TDs) and Laveranues Coles (51-635, 3 TDs). Coles is a regular on the weekly injury report but hasn't missed a start this season. The loss of running back Curtis Martin left the Jets searching for an answer. They've settled on a combination of Kevan Barlow and rookie Leon Washington. Surprisingly, New York has averaged 132 yards rushing per game over their last four contests after getting out of the gate quickly as a passing team to open the season. The Jets offensive line has allowed 22 sacks but only two in the last two games. Rookies Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson start at center and right tackle, respectively. The line is coached by former Bears assistant Tony Wise.

Look for the Jets and quarterback Chad Pennington to be very patient and methodical in taking what the defense gives them. They'll try to take advantage of the opposite from the Bears. Expect them to use the Bears' aggressive defense against them with screens, draws and reverses to catch them out of position. The Jets are not bashful about letting their receivers take handoffs on end-arounds and reverses. Watch for the Bears to get back to the basics among their front seven as they work to suffocate the Jets ground attack.


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