Monday Snapshot: Bears vs. Packers

The Scout.com NFL experts chip in with everything you need to know just before Monday's prime-time matchup between the Chicago Bears and bumbling rival Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field in Week 16. Here are some keys to the game, injury reports, fast facts, personnel news, and a whole lot more.

MONDAY SNAPSHOT
Kickoff: Monday, 7:30 p.m. CT
Surface: Grass
Television: ESPN – Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Tony Kornheiser
Series: 176th regular-season meeting. Bears lead 89-80-6 in the regular season and won the only playoff game, in 1941. Bears have won five of the past seven meetings, but the Packers destroyed them 37-3 in Green Bay on Nov. 16.

KEYS TO THE GAME
The Packers know they'll see a lot of blitzes from the Bears, but they can keep the pressure to a minimum if RB Ryan Grant is able to even approach the 145 rushing yards he had in the first meeting. QB Aaron Rodgers is starting to draw some criticism for not pulling out late-game drives in close losses, but he should put up big stats if given time in the pocket because of Chicago's underwhelming secondary. ... Rookie RB Matt Forte has accounted for an NFL-high 35.2 percent of the Bears' offense, but his explosiveness will be uncertain until he tests his sore toe on game day. Forte was limited to 16 carries in the first meeting with Chicago playing from behind, and the Bears need to get him involved early to attack Green Bay's poor run defense (138.2 yards allowed per game). Also look for Chicago to take some deep shots to WR Devin Hester working against Packers CB Tramon Williams, who has been beaten for a few big plays in recent weeks.

INJURY REPORT
Bears: Forte (toe) and DT Tommie Harris (knee) are expected to play.

Packers: LT Chad Clifton (thumbs) could be limited if he plays; DT Justin Harrell (hip) is uncertain.

FAST FACTS
Rodgers needs two touchdown passes to join Lynn Dickey, Brett Favre and Don Majkowski as the only Packers with 3,000-plus yards and 25-plus touchdowns in a season. ... Bears QB Kyle Orton has thrown six interceptions the past three games after throwing just four through the first 11.


RB Adrian Peterson
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

PERSONNEL NEWS
Bears: Forte did not practice Thursday but is expected back on Friday and should start Monday night. ... Harris, who has all five of his sacks in the last eight games, was able to practice without limitations Thursday, although he has been held out of the first full practice most weeks to rest his injured knee. ... Orton has thrown six INTs and just five TD passes starting with the first meeting against the Packers, which was his first game back after missing a game and a half with a sprained ankle. Orton's passer rating has dropped from 90.8 to 80.1. ... WR Marty Booker (ribs) was limited at practice but should be available for Monday night's game. He's caught just three passes for 28 yards in the past seven games, three of which he missed because of injuries, two games with a knee and last week with the ribs. ... RB Adrian Peterson has all 15 of his carries in the past five games as the backup to the workhorse Forte. Peterson, who could see a bit more playing time this week because of Forte's toe injury, is averaging 5.4 yards per carry.

Packers: S Atari Bigby was placed on injured reserve Thursday. Bothered by an ankle injury since late in the preseason, the final straw for the primary starter at strong safety was a shoulder injury he sustained in the Nov. 30 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Bigby was deactivated the last two games. He had missed five games early in the season because of a hamstring injury he suffered in the Week 2 win at the Detroit Lions. ... CB Al Harris didn't do much in practice Thursday, the team's first workout day of the week, after he suffered a sprained shoulder in Sunday's loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team expects Harris to play in the Monday night game at the Chicago Bears. ... Clifton was a full participant in practice and is expected to make the start Monday. Clifton didn't finish the last game after he suffered sprains to both of his thumbs. ... FB Korey Hall had limited work in practice and could be iffy to return to game action because of a sprained knee. The injury kept Hall out of the last game. John Kuhn would be the starting replacement again. ... RB Brandon Jackson also was limited Thursday as he recovers from a sprained wrist he suffered in the last game. The No. 2 halfback is expected to be ready for the upcoming game. ... TE Tory Humphrey went through the entire practice and should be good to play after coming out of the last game with a concussion. ... Harrell also was a full participant as he tries to get ready to play again after missing the last game because of a nagging hip injury.

PREDICTION
Bears 22, Packers 17.

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