Injury Report Analysis: Week 9

The bye came just in time for the Chicago Bears, as corners Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher should both be back this week. They'll be needed against Calvin Johnson, who is developing quickly. 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
LB Hunter Hillenmeyer Thumb Questionable
WR Brandon Lloyd Knee Questionable
S Danieal Manning Hamstring Questionable
DT Tommie Harris Knee Probable
WR Marty Booker Knee Probable
CB Charles Tillman Shoulder Probable
CB Nathan Vasher Wrist Probable

Detroit Lions

Player Injury Status
LB Jordon Dizon Hamstring OUT
FB Jerome Felton Ankle OUT
S Dwight Smith Foot OUT
TE Casey FitzSimmons Ribs Doubtful
DT Chuck Darby Calf Questionable
DT Cory Redding Groin Questionable
G Damion Cook Knee Questionable
G Andy McCollum Finger Questionable

Bears Offense vs. Lions Defense
The Bears are hoping to have wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (knee) back in the lineup after the bye week. Lloyd was establishing himself as Kyle Orton's No. 1 option before he injured his knee. Rookie offensive tackle Chris Williams (back surgery) should have enough practice reps under his belt to be ready to contribute. If they slide him in at all, he'll face the one player having a decent season for the Lions in Dewayne White (5.5 sacks). The Bears might be hesitant to break up any continuity that exists on the line. Running back Matt Forte had a thumb injury that should be fully healed.


WR Brandon Lloyd
Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

When the teams last played, it was at Detroit after the Lions had a bye-week break. They have a few injuries on defense this time that may affect their play. Safety Dwight Smith (foot) missed last week's contest with Washington. Kalvin Pearson received the start for Smith. Starting defensive tackles Cory Redding (groin) and Chuck Darby (calf) are banged up, as well. Shaun Cody and Langston Moore figure to see plenty of reps regardless.

Defensive-guru-turned-head-coach Rod Marinelli oversees a squad of defenders ranked either last or second to last in points allowed, total yardage, passing yardage and rushing yardage. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? The Bears were unable to run in their first match. Instead, Orton picked apart the Lions' secondary. Look for the Bears to continue trying Forte and the ground attack. If the Lions sell out to stop the run, there should be opportunities to seize through the air.

Lions Offense vs. Bears Defense
Since the Bears and Lions played last, receiver Roy Williams was shipped off to Dallas for draft picks. Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald will take those opportunities. Calvin Johnson (29 catches, 588 yards, 5 TDs) is developing into a No. 1 receiver. The back injury that bothered Jon Kitna in the first contest has landed him on injured reserve. Dan Orlovsky took over at quarterback and has three touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games, with 488 passing yards in his last two. The Lions are inching closer to the point where they'll want to see what Drew Stanton can accomplish. Rookie fullback Jerome Felton (ankle) may need to give way to Moran Norris. Assorted injuries at tight end to Casey FitzSimmons and Michael Gaines forced former Bear John Owens into the starting lineup last week.


LB Nick Roach
Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

The bye week should allow the wounded Bears' secondary the necessary time to heal. Charles Tillman (shoulder) and Nathan Vasher (thumb/wrist) are expected to return. Cornerback Corey Graham has played well enough that some believe he may supplant Vasher as a starter. Vasher's injury had complications with an infection. Nickelback Danieal Manning (hamstring) has shown progress and might be ready to go, as well. Speedy linebacker Nick Roach (shoulder) has been pushing Hunter Hillenmeyer for playing time and is expected to be ready for action. He'll need to be ready. Hillenmeyer had surgery on his thumb last week and is expected to miss some time. Jamar Williams is also waiting in the wings. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee) should be as healthy as he has been all year for this contest. The Bears desperately need for him to ignite their pass rush. It has been dormant for most of the season.

I thought Mike Martz was in San Francisco, but the Lions have allowed 25 sacks in seven games. They're only averaging 17.7 rushes per game, which is last in the league and a far cry from the 31st-ranked team (21.4). If there was ever a time for the Bears' pass rush to get well, this would be it. They should be able to pin their ears back and go after Orlovsky, knowing how averse the Lions are to running the football.

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


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