Injury Report Analysis: Week 6

The Chicago Bears have done a fine job on defense calling reserves to fill in capably for injured starters, something they were unable to do last year on their way to a disappointing 7-9 campaign. 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
WR Brandon Lloyd Knee Doubtful
DT Anthony Adams Ankle Questionable
LB Nick Roach Shoulder Questionable
CB Nathan Vasher Wrist Questionable
DT Marcus Harrison Knee Probable
P Brad Maynard Rest Probable

Atlanta Falcons

Player Injury Status
DT Jason Jefferson Ankle Doubtful
WR Laurent Robinson Knee Doubtful
DT Grady Jackson Knee Questionable
C Todd McClure Calf Questionable
WR Roddy White Head Questionable
TE Justin Peelle Knee Questionable
OT Todd Weiner Knee Probable
G Ben Wilkerson Chest Probable

Bears Offense vs. Falcons Defense
The Bears are pleased with the progress of rookie offensive tackle Chris Williams' recovery from a back injury. John St. Clair has started at the left tackle position Williams was penciled in at before he got hurt. St. Clair has played just well enough to not be a problem. He draws John Abraham this week, who leads the league with 7.0 sacks. Devin Hester (ribs) should be at a point where his injury should only be a minor factor in his play. Brandon Lloyd (knee) missed last week's game. In his stead, Rashied Davis had a big day. Lloyd might need another week to be ready. Rookie running back Matt Forte's rushing yardage has dropped every game. He hasn't broken off a run longer than 11 yards since the second week of the season.


OT John St. Clair
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bears are facing a team that has the same record (3-2) and shares losses to the same two teams (Tampa Bay and Carolina). Atlanta's defense has been equally challenged by both run (21st) and pass (22nd). Starting nose tackle Grady Jackson (knee) and backup Jason Jefferson (ankle) are playing through minor aches and pains.

Atlanta's defensive line poses a huge challenge for the left side of the Bears offense. Look for the Falcons to create mismatches from the center to the left side of the line, where Abraham can work against St. Clair while the mammoth Jackson (345 pounds) matches with undersized left guard Josh Beekman and center Olin Kreutz. Beekman took a few steps back last week in his performance against the Lions. The Bears have done a great job of taking what the defense is giving them. It's clear they'd prefer to run first. This might be the week for Forte to break out.

Falcons Offense vs. Bears Defense
The Falcons offense is led by the explosive running of Michael Turner. He's the thunder. Jerious Norwood is the lightning. The two backs combine to give the Falcons the second-ranked rushing attack in the NFL (180.6 yards per game). Center Todd McClure (calf) has not been playing at full strength for the last few games. Stopping the run this week will be the biggest challenge of the year for the Bears' defensive front seven. Roddy White (26 catches, 454 yards, 2 TDs) suffered a head injury from a collision in practice early this week. His status bears close watching. White has been far and away Matt Ryan's favorite receiver and is off to a great start to the season.


DT Anthony Adams
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Tommie Harris (knee/suspension) returns after missing the last two games. It will be interesting to see what level of performance he can provide. Harris was a non factor early in the season. Anthony Adams was active the last two weeks while Harris was out. Adams will likely be inactive again this week to make room for Harris and to rest an ankle that he tweaked against the Lions. Corner Corey Graham had a strong showing subbing for Nathan Vasher (thumb/wrist) last week against Detroit. Vasher might be ready to return, but given Graham's play, the Bears might be able to give him another week to heal fully. Charles Tillman (shoulder) was able to play against the Lions. He still isn't at full strength but is expected to play.

With Ryan under center, it might seem easy to make life difficult for him. However, the Falcons have done a good job putting the ball in the hands of their difference makers. Turner and White have combined to average over 200 yards per game. Ryan hasn't put up gaudy numbers but has picked up the offense quickly. He's already running the no-huddle and could be giving the Bears a dose of it to keep them from rotating players in. Look for the Bears to bring a safety up to stop Turner and leave single coverage on the receiver opposite White as well as the tight end (remember, Alge Crumpler is gone). Stopping Turner will require gang tackling and good form. At times, the Bears have not wrapped up well. Turner can pose problems with his ability to break tackles. If White is out, selling out to stop the run will be that much easier. Keep an eye on rookie left tackle Sam Baker. He has been a pleasant surprise and will likely be challenged by the Bears' schemes. Atlanta has only allowed seven sacks. On third down, the Bears will need to get to Ryan and stop the Falcons from sustaining drives.

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


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