Kickoff: Sunday, Noon CT
Television: FOX – Dick Stockton and Brian Baldinger
Series: 93rd meeting. Vikings lead series 48-42-2, but the Bears swept both games last season.
KEYS TO THE GAME
The Vikings need QB Tarvaris Jackson to start stretching defenses – head coach Brad Childress made the lack of a deep passing game a point of emphasis over the bye week. Jackson has the arm, but does he have the accuracy? Also expect to see rookie RB Adrian Peterson on the field more with Minnesota lacking other offensive playmakers. ... Bears RB Cedric Benson is best between the tackles, but that's also the teeth of the Vikings' defense, which is allowing just 62.0 rushing yards per game. Chicago doesn't have the wideouts to truly exploit Minnesota's mediocre secondary, but QB Brian Griese is gaining quick comfort in TEs Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen. Look for plenty of two-tight end sets to compensate for the lack of a consistent ground presence.
Bears: CB Nathan Vasher (groin) and LT John Tait (ankle) are not expected to play; WR Bernard Berrian (toe), DT Darwin Walker (knee), CB Charles Tillman (ankle) and DT Tommie Harris (knee) are limited but should play.
Vikings: Jackson (groin) has been limited in practice but is expected to play; S Dwight Smith (hamstring) has been slowed since Week 2 but should play.
Peterson has already tied Chuck Foreman's franchise rookie record set in 1973 with three 100-yard rushing games. ... Tillman has three of the Bears' six forced fumbles, leads the team with four pass breakups and is fourth with 18 solo tackles.
CB Charles Tillman
Jeff Roberson/AP Images
Bears: Briggs (hamstring) was added to the injury report and didn't practice Thursday, but he is expected to play Sunday. ... Tillman (ankle) returned to full practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday, and he is expected to play. ... Harris (knee) missed a second straight day of practice Thursday, but he is expected to play. ... Tait (high ankle sprain) is expected to miss a second straight game. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. ... Vasher (groin) has not practiced this week and isn't expected to be back for at least another week.
Vikings: DE Erasmus James, who has yet to play this season but was expected to return Sunday, was added to the injury report Thursday because of a shoulder problem that limited him. James missed the first four games because the coaching staff did not feel a knee injury he suffered last season was 100 percent. Childress had made it clear of late that James was ready to go, but now it appears to be a numbers game on the defensive line. ... Smith was limited in practice again Thursday by a hamstring injury that has slowed him the past three weeks of practice but hasn't caused him to miss a game. ... LB Ben Leber was limited in practice for a second consecutive day because of a rib injury. ... DL Darrion Scott was scheduled to have surgery Thursday on his broken left foot. He has been placed on injured reserve. ... DT Fred Evans could get back on the field with Scott sidelined. Scott had been used inside on passing downs. Evans was active for the season-opener against Atlanta but has not played since.
Bears 16, Vikings 9.