Sunday Snapshot: Bears vs. Colts

The Scout.com NFL experts chime in with everything you need to know ahead of Sunday night's matchup between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts at brand new Lucas Oil Stadium. Keys to the game, injury reports, fast facts, personnel news, and a whole lot more.

SUNDAY SNAPSHOT
Kickoff: Sunday, 7:15 CT
Surface: FieldTurf
Television: NBC – Al Michaels, John Madden, and Andrea Kramer
Series: 41st meeting. Colts lead series 23-17, including s 29-17 victory in Super Bowl XLI.

KEYS TO THE GAME
RB Matt Forte will be the first rookie back to start for the Bears since Walter Payton in 1975, and Chicago needs him to be productive out of the chute. With a shaky offensive line protecting QB Kyle Orton, who will be throwing to one of the league's least impressive receiving corps, Chicago also needs the versatile Forte to be a factor in the passing game. Orton's biggest concern should be OT John St. Clair protecting his blind side against DE Dwight Freeney. ... Peyton Manning will take the field less than two months removed from knee surgery to remove an infected bursa sac and with no preseason snaps under his belt. A bigger concern than rust, however, is having a rookie – Steve Justice or Jamey Richard – snapping to him instead of injured C Jeff Saturday. In fact, guards Charlie Johnson and Daniel Federkeil complete a different interior line since the Colts' playoff loss last January.

INJURY REPORT
Bears: OT Chris Williams (back) is out. DT Tommie Harris (knee) and DT Dusty Dvoracek (calf) will play, but it could be a limited number of snaps.

Saints: Saturday (knee) is out. OG Mike Pollak (knee) is out.

FAST FACTS
The Bears lead the NFL with 49 season-opening wins. ... The Colts will be playing their first regular-season game at Lucas Oil Stadium. ... The Colts' .727 winning percentage (24-9) in September over the past 10 years is the best in the NFL.


DE Mark Anderson
Nam Y. Huh/AP Images

PERSONNEL NEWS
Bears: Harris practiced without limitations on Thursday, and the three-time Pro Bowler is expected to start Sunday night. ... G Josh Beekman, who played briefly in one game last season as a rookie, is expected to start Game 1, although former starter Terrence Metcalf returned to practice this week after missing four weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery. ... Dvoracek was a full participant in Thursday's practice and is expected to play in the DT rotation Sunday but will probably have his playing time limited. ... DT Anthony Adams, who started seven games at NT last season and one at DT, is expected to start at NT Sunday night. ... DE Mark Anderson (thumb) participated in all phases of Thursday's practice and should be in the DE rotation Sunday night, especially in pass-rush situations.

Colts: Freeney likely will open at his normal right defensive end spot and Raheem Brock at left end against the Bears. Colts head coach Tony Dungy said Robert Mathis would work in behind Brock and Josh Thomas behind Freeney. "Don't know how it's going to be," said Mathis, a 29-game starter the past two seasons. "We just play." ... Freeney missed the final eight games last season with a foot injury. He's eager to return. "I might get a little emotional," he said. "I'm not saying I'm going to cry, but I might hold it in or take it out on somebody." ... Rookies Justice and Richard aren't providing much insight on the Colts' center situation. Asked if he was looking forward to starting, Richard, who has worked with Manning in practice said, "There's no guarantee that's going to happen. Whether it's going to be myself or Steve, we don't know." Added Justice, "Come Sunday, we'll find out." ... While both players have seen work at left and right offensive guard during training camp and the preseason, it appears as if Johnson will now get the start at left guard while Federkeil will go at right guard against the Bears on Sunday night. ... Pollak will miss Sunday's game while recovering from an injury to his right knee. Pollak, though, did have a minor procedure on his left leg that is not impeding his return. ... WR Pierre Garcon (shoulder) saw limited work Thursday but is expected to be available for the Chicago game. ... DE Curtis Johnson (shoulder) had limited practice time Thursday. Johnson should be able to play against the Bears. ... S Bob Sanders was given Thursday off from practice. Sanders, though, will start Sunday night.

PREDICTION
Colts 23, Bears 13.

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