Injury Report Analysis: Week 13

The Chicago Bears got beat up in St. Louis despite a dominant victory over the Rams in Week 12. The DBs will be a man down, as corner Nathan Vasher fractured his hand and is out Sunday. 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
CB Nathan Vasher Hand OUT
WR Marty Booker Knee Questionable
TE Desmond Clark Knee Questionable
FB Jason McKie Quadricep Questionable
S Mike Brown Calf Probable
DT Tommie Harris Knee Probable
LB Jamar Williams Groin Probable

Minnesota Vikings

Player Injury Status
DT Letroy Guion Ankle Doubtful
LB Vinny Ciurciu Hand Questionable
LB David Herron Shoulder Questionable
OT Artis Hicks Elbow Questionable
TE Garrett Mills Ankle Questionable
DE Jared Allen Shoulder Probable
S Madieu Williams Shoulder Probable

Bears Offense vs. Vikings Defense
Quarterback Kyle Orton (ankle) is gradually getting back to full health. He had a decent game last week and should be peaking again in time for this matchup in the Metrodome. Tight end Desmond Clark left last week's game against the Rams with a knee injury. If he misses time, Greg Olsen will get all the reps with some time added for rookie Kellen Davis in double-tight end situations. Marty Booker has been trying to recover from a mild knee injury to get back on the field. Brandon Lloyd has been quiet since his return from a knee injury. This might be his game to break out.

DE Jared Allen
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

With E.J. Henderson (foot) out for the year, the Vikings turned back to Napoleon Harris. Harris and the Vikings' linebackers have had trouble stopping opposing tight ends recently. It will be interesting to see how they handle Olsen. Chad Greenway leads the Vikings in tackles and has 4.0 sacks. He has stabilized as a playmaking force on the Vikings' defense after losing his rookie season (2006) to injury. Defensive end Jared Allen (shoulder) is tied for the team lead with defensive tackle Kevin Williams with 8.0 sacks. They'll match up with the left side of the Bears line of John St. Clair and Josh Beekman. Safety Madieu Williams returned to action after the bye week. The Vikings are 3-1 since his return, allowing only 18.3 points per game.

The Bears ran extremely well last week. They might find tougher sledding against Minnesota's Williams Wall. They're second in the league against the run. Look for the Bears to use the no-huddle offense and stretch the field horizontally and vertically to make the Vikings' line run. It will be interesting to see how well Orton can run his checks at the line in the Metrodome. This should be a week to see Olsen shine as well as getting all facets of the passing attack in play, including the running backs on screens.

Vikings Offense vs. Bears Defense
Former Bears Bobby Wade (thigh) and Bernard Berrian are Minnesota's leading receivers in terms of receptions and yardage, respectively. Tight end Garrett Mills (ankle) has had a tough time staying healthy as a member of the Vikings. Visanthe Shiancoe has been a pleasant surprise (26 catches, 353 yards, 4 TDs) and should be paid special attention in the red zone. Right tackle Artis Hicks (elbow) might have to give the job back to Ryan Cook if he isn't ready. Either way, Adewale Ogunleye (2.0 sacks last week) might have a matchup to exploit.

CB Nathan Vasher
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Last week against the Rams, cornerback Nathan Vasher fractured the surgically repaired thumb/wrist that had him out of action just a few weeks ago. He's expected to miss a significant amount of time – perhaps even wind up on injured reserve. Corey Graham will take over. Graham's coverage skills aren't quite the same as Vasher's, but he more than makes up for it in run support. Safety Mike Brown left last week's game with a lower-leg injury. If he's not ready to return, Craig Steltz is likely to take his place. Linebacker and special-teams standout Darrell McClover was placed on IR this week.

In the four games since the bye week, The Vikings are running 61 percent of the time. Gus Frerotte is only averaging 21.5 passing attempts. The reason might be pass protection. Frerotte has been sacked 13 times in that span against only 86 attempts. On the season, they've allowed 31 sacks. Expect the Vikings to give the Bears a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson with a sprinkle of Chester Taylor. The Bears' defense played great against the running attacks of Tennessee and St. Louis but was embarrassed against Green Bay. The Bears' defense turned up the heat with five sacks and four interceptions last week after a dismal stretch through the middle of the season. Look for the Bears to feed off of the things that worked last week and for the Vikings to try to utilize cutbacks to pit the Bears' own speed against them.

Michael Nudo writes his Injury Report Analysis feature every Friday exclusively for E-mail him at

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