|TE Greg Olsen||Knee||Doubtful|
|WR Muhsin Muhammad||Ankle||Probable|
|San Diego Chargers||Injury||Status|
|WR Eric Parker||Toe||Out|
|RB Michael Turner||Ankle||Probable|
|C Cory Withrow||Foot||Probable|
For the Bears, Olsen did not participate in drills Wednesday and was limited in his participation Thursday and Friday. He injured his knee late in the second quarter of the final preseason game against Cleveland two Thursdays ago, and even though an MRI revealed no structural damage, it's believed that his rookie debut could be delayed a few weeks. Muhammad participated fully both Wednesday and Thursday, so it appears that he was simply held out Friday because of the proverbial "general soreness."
As for the Chargers, Parker did not practice all week and could be out of the lineup for a few games. Turner was limited in his participation Wednesday, but he fully participated Thursday and Friday. Like Turner, Withrow was limited in his participation Wednesday but fully participated Thursday and Friday.
Bears on Offense
Offensive coordinator Ron Turner planned on using a lot of two-tight-end formations this season featuring Olsen and Desmond Clark, so that dynamic will likely be thrown out the window since it looks like the rookie will not be available. John Gilmore is once again the second tight end, but he's primarily on the field in short-yardage and goal-line situations because of his blocking prowess and limited pass-catching ability. Clark enjoyed the best season of his Bears career in 2006 and caught the ball well in training camp, so he could have success against a pair of average San Diego safeties in Clinton Hart and Marlon McCree.
WR Muhsin Muhammad (Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Muhammad missed several days down in Bourbonnais with general soreness, so it appears that head coach Lovie Smith is giving his two-time leading receiver all the rest he needs at now 34 years of age. Fourth-year wideout Bernard Berrian is on the verge of becoming a household name and seemed unstoppable at times during the preseason, so Muhammad may be relegated to a complementary role in the passing game as a possession target. However, quarterback Rex Grossman still looks his way on third down and near the goal line.
Look for receivers Rashied Davis and Mark Bradley to be on the field a lot in the three-wide set, making up for the loss of Olsen and giving Grossman as many options as possible down the field against Hart and McCree.
Bears on Defense
The Midway Monsters will be running at full capacity defensively for the first time in quite a while, but their success could very well depend on two Pro-Bowlers returning from injury: safety Mike Brown and tackle Tommie Harris. Brown was lost after Week 6 last season with torn ligaments in his foot, but he might be able to stay healthier this season as he moves back to free safety from strong safety. While Harris claims he's fully recovered from the torn hamstring he suffered in Week 13 last year, he admits there is a mental hurdle he still needs to jump.
Parker will not be missed by the Chargers on offense as he is behind starters Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson and rookie Craig Davis on the depth chart. Not to mention that fact that tight end Antonio Gates is the primary receiver for QB Philip Rivers and presents all kinds of problems for the Bears' linebackers. Withrow is only backing up Nick Hardwick, but Turner spells reigning MVP LaDainian Tomlinson in the backfield periodically and is arguably the best second-string runner in the league.
Expect Tomlinson to handle the load both rushing and receiving as usual, plus the diminutive Darren Sproles takes over for Parker on punt returns.
John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.