Injury Report: Bears vs. Seahawks

The Bears host the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon in the second round of the playoffs. Seattle beat Dallas 21-20 last weekend when Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo muffed the hold on a field goal attempt. The Bears had the week off to lick their wounds after suffering an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the rival Packers. Let's take a closer look at the injuries and their impact on this game.

BEARS - S Mike Brown (foot), WR Airese Currie (foot), DT Dusty Dvoracek (foot), DT Tommie Harris (hamstring), FB Bryan Johnson (leg), S Brandon McGowan (Achilles), Jamar Williams (shoulder)
SEAHAWKS - LS Jean-Philippe Darche (hip), S Mike Green (foot), CB Kelly Herndon (ankle), LB D.D. Lewis (toe), FB Josh Parry (foot), DE Kemp Rasmussen (knee), RB Josh Scobey (arm), DT Craig Terrill (knee), DT Marcus Tubbs (knee), FB Leonard Weaver (ankle), CB Jimmy Williams (knee)

BEARS - none

BEARS - none
SEAHAWKS - WR D.J. Hackett (ankle), CB Marcus Trufant (ankle)

BEARS - CB Charles Tillman (back), FB Jason McKie (ankle)
SEAHAWKS - WR Darrell Jackson (toe)

BEARS - OT John St. Clair (illness), DE Alex Brown (illness)

Bears Offense vs. Seahawks Defense
Fullback Jason McKie (ankle) returned to practice. If he cannot play, tight end Gabe Reid is expected to take his place. Left tackle John Tait (ankle) started against Green Bay after missing the previous few games. The lack of action resulted in his worst performance of the year. The Bears run a balanced offense. When they're at their best, offensive coordinator Ron Turner mixes the run and pass well to set up play-action. When he's right, quarterback Rex Grossman distributes the ball evenly among wideouts Muhsin Muhammad (60-863, 5 TDs) and Bernard Berrian (51-775, 6 TDs) while keeping tight end Desmond Clark (45-626, 6 TDs) as a reliable safety valve.

Seattle's secondary is missing Kelly Herndon, Jimmy Williams and Mike Green. Meanwhile, cornerback Marcus Trufant isn't likely to be healthy enough to play either. This means Jordan Babineaux will play cornerback again after having been converted to safety. Herndon and Trufant had been significant contributors throughout the season. The increased concern for coverage has meant less attention to run-stopping and blitzing. As a consequence, Seattle has been allowing opponents to average 155 rushing yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry over the last four games. Furthermore, they have only registered four sacks in that time.

The Bears will continue their balance of power running with Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones against an undersized front seven while mixing in enough passing to test the decimated secondary of the Seahawks. Look for Seattle to do their best to rattle Grossman by finding ways to get linebacker Julian Peterson (10 sacks) freed up so he can blitz.

Bears Defense vs. Seahawks Offense
Safety Todd Johnson and cornerback Charles Tillman should be close to full strength. Although Tillman (back) is listed as questionable, he is expected to be ready to play. Their absence over the last month has hurt the Bears in coverage and limited their ability to blitz. Additionally, it has forced nickelback Ricky Manning Jr. into the cornerback position, where he has struggled. Troubled defensive tackle Tank Johnson has been back in the fold for several weeks and should be ready to contribute greatly at Tommie Harris's three-technique position in a rotation that includes Alfonso Boone and Ian Scott. The trio's performance has been largely overlooked while other areas have struggled.

The return of Shaun Alexander has not been the cure-all the Seahawks were hoping for. Alexander and the Seahawks' running game wasn't the same without veteran guard Steve Hutchinson when the season began. There have been few glimpses of a return to dominance since Alexander's return from injury. If injuries sideline receivers D.J. Hackett and Darrell Jackson, the Seahawks will be forced to rely more heavily on former Bear Bobby Engram and tight end Jerramy Stevens. Stevens missed the first game against the Bears. He has nine catches and two touchdowns in the last two games.

The Seahawks like to spread the field with three- and four-receiver sets. Look for them to use this to open up lanes for Alexander on the run and to find holes in the Bears secondary through the pass. This means a greater reliance on Manning and removing strong side linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer. Manning picked off Hasselbeck twice in their earlier matchup.

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