Injury Report Analysis: Week 10

Bear Report takes a closer look at the injury report and how it could affect Sunday's outcome. The Midway Monsters will be without Nathan Vasher for the sixth straight game, and Tommie Harris just can't seem to shake the bumps and bruises that have plagued him all season.


OG Ruben Brown Shoulder OUT
S Brandon McGowan Elbow Doubtful
CB Nathan Vasher Groin Doubtful
LB Rod Wilson Neck Doubtful
DT Tommie Harris Knee Questionable

LB Sam Williams Shoulder OUT
C Jake Grove Knee Doubtful
CB Nnamdi Asomugha Knee Questionable
CB Fabian Washington Calf Questionable
WR Jerry Porter Knee Questionable
DT Warren Sapp Knee Probable
DT Gerard Warren Quad Probable

For the Bears, Brown, McGowan, Vasher, and Wilson all did not practice Friday. However, Harris was able to participate in all drills after being sidelined both Wednesday and Thursday.

As for the Raiders, Grove, Washington, and Porter were all held out of practice Friday. Williams and Porter were both only able to participate on a limited basis, but Sapp and Warren took part in all drills. Porter was just added to the injury report after Friday's session despite participating fully both Wednesday and Thursday.

Bears on Offense
The Monsters of the Midway were supposed to use the bye week to get healthier after a brutal first half of the 2007 regular season, but instead they appear to be more banged up now than they were the last time out against Detroit in Week 8. Most notably, nine-time Pro Bowler Ruben Brown has been moved to injured reserve after battling a bad shoulder most of the year, which means that Terrence Metcalf will be in the starting lineup at left guard for the foreseeable future. Metcalf has started 20 games for the Bears in his career, but only five of those starts have been to the left of All-Pro center Olin Kreutz.

QB Brian Griese
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The statistical data suggest that offensive coordinator Ron Turner should run the football liberally against an Oakland defense surrendering more than 152 yards per game on the ground, but it might make more sense to take to the air instead. Not only does RB Cedric Benson appear to be a bust so far and is averaging a paltry 3.1 yards per carry through eight games, but both starting cornerbacks for the Raiders, Nnamdi Asomugha and Fabian Washington, are dealing with leg injuries and will likely not be at 100 percent should they play at all. Additionally, the Silver-and-Black pass rush has been absent for quite some time, producing only 11 sacks thus far.

Look for Turner to give Benson a shot to get it done in the early going since Oakland is allowing a ridiculous 5.1 yards per attempt defending the run this season. But if Benson once again has trouble finding open holes and can't keep the chains moving, QB Brian Griese could have a big day exploiting the likes of Asomugha and Washington down the field with speedsters Bernard Berrian and Devin Hester. Head coach Lovie Smith adores his team's reputation as a run-first attack, but right now he needs wins no matter how he gets them.

Bears on Defense
CB Nathan Vasher was expected back after the bye since he had an extra seven days to get ready, but he hasn't even tried to run at full speed yet and will miss his sixth consecutive game. Rookie Trumaine McBride gets the nod at right cornerback once again opposite Charles Tillman, and the absence of McGowan also leaves the safety position painfully thin behind starters Adam Archuleta and Danieal Manning. Fortunately for Chicago, the Raiders have not thrown the ball particularly well this season and rank just 28th in the NFL at 166.4 yards per game.

DE Mark Anderson
Nam Y. Huh/AP Images

Porter's knee ailment will likely slow him down Sunday, although he does more damage with prototype size than blazing speed. It remains to be seen if Alex Brown regains his starting job at right defensive end in place of second-year pro Mark Anderson, who is a gifted pass rusher but has not proven to be a very good run defender. DT Tommie Harris leads the team with seven sacks despite being beaten up all season long, although he hasn't helped that much versus the run himself.

Expect the Raiders to feature a heavy dose of RB Justin Fargas, who has supplanted LaMont Jordan in the starting lineup and provided a spark on the ground with 165 yards on 35 carries and a touchdown in his last two ballgames. Neither Josh McCown nor Daunte Culpepper has been especially effective under center, but the organization keeps backing McCown when he's healthy even though it was Culpepper who was at the controls for most of the offensive snaps in Oakland's two wins this season. McBride will have to cover the team's leading receiver, Ronald Curry (31 catches), because Tillman should be shadowing Porter most of the day.

John Crist is the Editor in Chief of and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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