|OT Chris Williams||Back||OUT|
|LB Lance Briggs||Ankle||Probable||RB Matt Forte||Ankle||Probable||DT Tommie Harris||Ankle||Probable||WR Devin Hester||Foot||Probable||OT John Tait||Groin||Probable||CB Nathan Vasher||Shoulder/Back||Probable|
|QB Matt Moore||Leg||OUT||WR Ryne Robinson||Knee||Doubtful||G Travelle Wharton||Knee||Doubtful||LB Na'il Diggs||Shoulder||Questionable||CB Chris Gamble||Arm||Questionable||TE Dante Rosario||Foot||Questionable||G Geoff Hangartner||Illness||Probable|
Bears Offense vs. Panthers Defense
Strong-side linebacker Na'il Diggs has been recovering from a sore shoulder. The Bears are familiar with Diggs from his Green Bay days. One player they're even more familiar with will be safety Chris Harris. The former Bear quickly acclimated himself to the Panthers last season, developing into a one-man forced-fumble factory. Harris stripped Antonio Gates last week in San Diego. Cornerback Chris Gamble scooped up the loose ball and took it in for a 31-yard touchdown. Gamble has a minor arm injury and is easing his way back this week.
The Panthers like to run the zone blitz, where they drop Julius Peppers into coverage and bring a linebacker. This can be extremely effective against an inexperienced offensive line that can be confused in its assignments when changes occur after the snap.
Look for the Panthers to test John St. Clair and Josh Beekman with an array of blitzes and stunts. On offense, expect the Bears to continue to run the ball until someone can stop them. There wasn't a need to use much play action last week against the Colts. This could be the week where we see it used more often to open things up downfield.
Panthers Offense vs. Bears Defense
Defensive tackle Tommie Harris has a sore ankle and was used sparingly in the Bears' victory at Indy. Backups Israel Idonije and Marcus Harrison saw heavier doses of playing time. Each made an impact. Lance Briggs is also nursing an ankle injury but was not limited in the game apart from the few plays he watched from the sideline. Nathan Vasher (shoulder) is not expected to miss any time this week. Reigning defensive Player of the Week Adewale Ogunleye draws the matchup with Otah. Otah's size and power will be pitted against Ogunleye's quickness and guile. Harris' various bumps and bruises will dictate a continuing rotation of fresh bodies along the defensive front.
With the speedster Smith on the sideline, the Bears will have the opportunity to cheat a safety closer to the line to either make plays against the run or to blitz. Keep an eye on Mike Brown and Kevin Payne this week. They were relatively quiet against the aerial assault of the Colts, and they should be factors against the Panthers. This will be their time to shine.
Michael Nudo writes his Injury Report Analysis feature every Friday exclusively for BearReport.com.