|WR Marty Booker||Ribs||Doubtful|
|FB Jason McKie||Quadriceps||Doubtful|
|RB Garrett Wolfe||Hamstring||Doubtful|
|TE Desmond Clark||Hamstring||Probable|
|DT Tommie Harris||Knee||Probable|
New Orleans Saints
|OT Jammal Brown||Ankle||OUT|
|S Roman Harper||Shoulder||Probable|
|RB Deuce McAllister||Not Injury Related||Probable|
Bears Offense vs. Saints Defense
Defensive end Charles Grant (triceps) was lost at the midpoint of the season. Defensive tackle Brian Young was lost in the first half of the year, as well. Starting free safety Kevin Kaesviharn (neck) was placed on injured reserve last week. Cornerback Randall Gay suffered a concussion in Sunday's game. With Aaron Glenn already out for the season, Usama Young is likely to play if Gay cannot return in time. Defensive end Will Smith (pending suspension) is expected to be eligible to play Thursday night, as the case for the diuretic he and others tested positively for is heard. For all the attention paid to Smith, keep your eye on the other end, Bobby McCray. McCray has 6.0 sacks and will line up over John Tait.
New Orleans ranks in the bottom third of the league in almost all relevant defensive statistics. For the Bears to win, they'll need to control the football and the clock. This not only means a heavy dose of rookie Matt Forte, but also a precision passing attack with Orton. Bears receivers have had a case of the drops the last few weeks. If they can get the strong safety to creep up in the box to defend the run, they'll be able to get a good matchup with their tight ends over the middle working against Kaesviharn's replacement, Josh Bullocks. The Saints secondary is banged up. This might be the time for Brandon Lloyd to show the form he displayed during the first month of the season.
Saints Offense vs. Bears Defense
Corey Graham has been an upgrade at cornerback for Nathan Vasher, who battled thumb and wrist injuries before finally being placed on injured reserve. Anthony Adams and Israel Idonije played well at defensive tackle last week for Dusty Dvoracek (biceps). Dvoracek went on injured reserve this week. Both were needed last week, as Tommie Harris tweaked a hamstring in Sunday's match with Jacksonville. Harris is listed on the injury report, but with a knee issue and not said hamstring. Rookie Marcus Harrison also saw extended snaps.
The Saints have the top passing offense in the NFL. Drew Brees has only been sacked 10 times. Why are they only 7-6? New Orleans is at minus-4 in turnover ratio. The Saints are only 1-5 on the road. While Brees is on a record pace for yardage, he has also thrown 14 interceptions. Overall, he has a 26-14 touchdown-to-interception ratio. That ratio is 10-10 on the road. For the Bears to slow down the Saints offense, they'll need to disrupt the great timing Brees has developed with his receivers. They'll need to get their hands up in the trenches and jam the receivers at the line of scrimmage. This had clearly been a problem for the Bears through the heart of their season. It will be interesting to see what adjustments can be made. If not, this could very quickly get ugly for the defense against a team that put 51 points on the Packers a few weeks ago. Look for the Saints to keep the Bears off balanced by getting the most out Bush and Thomas running the ball and on dumpoffs and screens.
Michael Nudo writes his Injury Report Analysis feature every week exclusively for BearReport.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.