Kickoff: Monday, 7:30 CT
Television: ESPN – Mike Turico, Ron Jaworski, Tony Kornheiser, Suzy Kolber, and Michele Tafoya
Series: 94th meeting including playoffs. Vikings lead Bears 49-42-2, including a 34-31 victory in Week 6 when the Bears rallied to score 14 points in 58 seconds late in the fourth quarter only to lose on Ryan Longwell's career-best 55-yard field goal as time expired. The Bears had won four of five meetings prior to that.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Ironically, Kyle Orton's last start for the Bears came against the Vikings – on New Year's Day nearly two years ago. There's no time to slowly shake off the rust because the Bears' poor running game has somehow regressed under RB Adrian Peterson. Fortunately, the Vikings' one glaring weakness is in their secondary, so Orton has a fighting chance to be successful. ... A primetime showdown will be a matter of pride for the Bears' defense, which was taken behind the woodshed by Minnesota's Adrian Peterson in Chicago. He's splitting carries with Chester Taylor, and even with defenses gearing up against the run, the Vikings are averaging 172.2 yards rushing per game. And with QB Tarvaris Jackson maturing rapidly, Minnesota can also hurt Chicago through the air this time around.
The Bears' past four games have been decided by an average of 4.8 points. ... Vikings DT Kevin Williams has broken Chris Doleman's franchise mark for linemen with his fourth career INT.
DL Israel Idonije
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Bears: Vasher (groin) practiced on a limited basis but said his chances of playing for the first time in 11 weeks are "slim to none." ... DT Tommie Harris (knee) did not practice Thursday, although he is expected to play Monday. Walker (elbow) did not practice Thursday and is probably questionable at best for Monday night. ... Hillenmeyer (shoulder) was back at practice Thursday after sitting out Tuesday. ... DL Israel Idonije, normally a backup swingman more comfortable at end, is expected to see increased playing time at the 3-technique Monday night since he is the only healthy tackle on the roster who has played in a game this season.
Vikings: S Mike Doss was limited in practice Thursday because of a hamstring injury that kept him out of last Sunday's game against San Francisco. ... CB Charles Gordon was limited in practice Thursday because of a quadriceps injury suffered against the 49ers. ... OL Artis Hicks did not practice Thursday because of lower back problems. He was inactive for last Sunday's game. ... WR Justin Surrency was signed to the Vikings' practice squad. Surrency, who lives in the Twin Cities, spent part of training camp with Minnesota. The Vikings had an open spot on the practice squad, so no other roster move needed to be made. ... S Tank Williams did not practice Thursday after missing a second consecutive game Sunday because of a sprained MCL.
Vikings 31, Bears 16.
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