Injury Report Analysis: Week 5

Detroit features two of the most physically imposing receivers in the game with Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson, so it's a bad time for both Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher to be banged up. Michael Nudo breaks down all the bumps and bruises by taking a closer look at Friday's final injury report.

Chicago Bears

Player Injury Status
DT Tommie Harris Suspended OUT
WR Brandon Lloyd Knee OUT
WR Marty Booker Knee Questionable
CB Charles Tillman Shoulder Questionable
CB Nathan Vasher Wrist Questionable
S Kevin Payne Neck Questionable
OT Chris Williams Back Questionable

Detroit Lions

Player Injury Status
OT George Foster Knee Doubtful
G Stephen Peterman Hand Doubtful
RB Marcus Thomas Hamstring Doubtful
CB Leigh Bodden Calf Questionable
CB Travis Fisher Groin Probable
WR Roy Williams Knee Probable

Bears Offense vs. Lions Defense
The Bears were pleased that wide receiver/return specialist Devin Hester (ribs) returned to action last week. He arrived in the nick of time, as leading receiver Brandon Lloyd left the game with a knee injury. Lloyd's injury didn't look season-ending, as he didn't seem to suffer a stability-related injury. It looked more like his knee hit the turf pretty hard. Marty Booker (knee) is also banged up. The Bears brought back receiver Mike Hass to the practice squad Tuesday. Hester and Rashied Davis will be relied on heavily. Rookie left tackle Chris Williams is back in pads for the third week since back surgery in training camp.


WR Brandon Lloyd
Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

Detroit is coming off a bye week, so they have had an opportunity to lick any early wounds. Cornerback Travis Fisher (groin) is the only player who might be slowed down by injury. The Lions defense only has three sacks through three games. Right defensive end DeWayne White, who will match up with John St. Clair, has two of them.

Matt Forte has seen his rushing yardage and yards per carry fall each week since the opening game against the Colts. The Lions are dead last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (207.7) and yards per carry (5.6). It stands to reason the Bears will get back to pounding the ball against Detroit. This would be a great time to give former Lion Kevin Jones a good number of complementary carries, as well.

Lions Offense vs. Bears Defense
Apart from firing GM and President Matt Millen during the bye week break, the Lions also named former Bengal Rudi Johnson their starting running back. Rookie Kevin Smith is likely to see plenty of action, as well. Michael Gaines starts at tight end since Dan Campbell was placed on injured reserve after an injury in the first week of the season. Right tackle George Foster is trying to get his knee ready, but he's also in the process of losing his starting position to rookie Gosder Cherilus. Cherilus started for the injured Foster against the 49ers in Week 3. Right guard Stephen Peterman is recovering from a hand injury. Manuel Ramirez is the backup. With Jim Colletto taking over the offensive coordinator position from Mike Martz, the Lions are much more run-to-pass balanced. In spite of this, Jon Kitna still hasn't found a way to remain upright – he's been sacked 12 times in three games. Wide receiver Roy Williams (knee) showed up on the injury report Thursday.


CB Nathan Vasher
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Tommie Harris (knee) was held out of last week's game. It was finally determined the team is better without him if he is hurt. On Thursday, it was announced that he would be suspended for this week's game for breaking an unspecified team rule. The Bears have great depth at defensive tackle. Anthony Adams, Dusty Dvoracek, Israel Idonije and rookie Marcus Harrison combine to provide a strong inside presence for the defensive line. Cornerbacks Charles Tillman (shoulder) and Nathan Vasher (thumb/wrist) were also shaken up last week. Vasher had surgery earlier this week and is expected to miss the contest. The Bears are more hopeful for Tillman's return. However, his likelihood to play is very much in doubt. Corey Graham and Trumaine McBride are the reserves. McBride was pressed into a starting role last season and turned out to be a pleasant surprise, but Graham passed him on the depth chart in the offseason. The Bears might need both of them Sunday.

The Bears should know better than to take lightly a Detroit team that beat them twice last season. They were victimized by turnovers and catastrophic defensive meltdowns in their losses. They'll need to establish an early lead, get takeaways and keep the Lions in predictable down-and-distance situations. To do this, they must put pressure on Kitna. If that can't be done with the D-line alone, they'll need to blitz. Given Detroit's situation at tight end, the old standard of the Cover 2 is a good fit. It will be interesting to see what wrinkles they employ from that base as long-time friends Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli match wits.

Michael Nudo writes his Injury Report Analysis feature every Friday exclusively for BearReport.com.


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