Noots' Notes: Week 3 Injury Analysis

While the Chicago Bears have been dealt a few dings here and there on either side of the ball, the Seattle Seahawks are totally beaten up after just two weeks and could be in trouble 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
LB Pisa Tinoisamoa Knee OUT
TE Desmond Clark Rib Doubtful
DE Alex Brown Ankle Questionable
DT Tommie Harris Knee Probable
DT Israel Idonije Knee Probable
G Frank Omiyale Ankle Probable

Seattle Seahawks

Player Injury Status
LB LeRoy Hill Groin OUT
OT Sean Locklear Ankle OUT
CB Josh Wilson Ankle OUT
FB Justin Griffith Knee Doubtful
QB Matt Hasselbeck Rib Doubtful
LB Lofa Tatufu Hamstring Doubtful
OT Walter Jones Knee Questionable
CB Ken Lucas Groin Questionable
DT Brandon Mebane Calf Questionable
WR Deion Branch Hamstring Probable
CB Travis Fisher Hamstring Probable
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh Back Probable
C Chris Spencer Quadriceps Probable

Bears Offense vs. Seahawks Defense
Tight end Desmond Clark's rib injury allowed Kellen Davis to play a pivotal role in the Bears' 17-14 victory over the Steelers. While receiver Devin Aromashodu was recovering from an injury of his own, Johnny Knox stepped in and had a breakout game as well against Pittsburgh. Clark is making progress but might need a little more time before he can contribute. The rest of the offense is healthy, although questions abound regarding the ineffectiveness of the rushing attack. Left guard Frank Omiyale (ankle) has struggled through the first two weeks of the season, as he makes the transition from tackle to guard. Last year's starter, Josh Beekman, had a strong camp and is waiting in the wings if Omiyale suffers a setback in health or status.

G Frank Omiyale
Getty Images: Jonathan Daniel

The Seahawks' linebacking corps is every bit as banged up as the Bears' group. Linebacker Leroy Hill will be out for an extended period of time with an injured groin. Will Herring has been starting in his place. Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu has been very limited with a hamstring injury. He didn't play much last week and may need to be rested before he's ready to provide a significant contribution. David Hawthorne is the backup. He had five tackles against the 49ers. Cornerback Josh Wilson (ankle) had stepped in when Marcus Trufant (back) was hurt before the start of the season. Wilson was ruled out early in the week. Kelly Jennings is likely to take over. Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane registered a sack in the first game but missed last week because of a calf injury. Craig Terrill started for him against San Francisco and picked up a sack, as well. However, the injury to Mebane and the decimated state of the linebacking corps may have had to have something to do with Frank Gore busting off two long touchdowns a week ago.

Patrick Kerney had 14.5 sacks two years ago but missed half of last year due to injury. He's back and ready to go. Lawrence Jackson already has 3.0 sacks at the other end rotating with Cory Redding. They'll challenge Bears' tackles Orlando Pace and Chris Williams. Expect the Bears to test the Seahawks' interior defense with running plays and passes to the tight end. Separately, they'll want to get desirable matchups with Jennings on the outside. While they want to establish the run, if the pass is there, they'll take it if that's the way to get the win. Seattle is one of the most difficult road stadiums to play in. It will be interesting to see how they minimize the impact of the crowd noise.

Seahawks Offense vs. Bears Defense
Matt Hasselbeck suffered a fractured rib in the Seahawks' loss last week to San Francisco. Seattle and Hasselbeck are not necessarily ruling him out, but it seems unlikely he'll play. If he doesn't, Seneca Wallace will be called upon lead the offense. Wallace provides additional mobility. At left tackle, veteran Walter Jones might be ready to return after knee and back problems had him sidelined. It will be just in time. His replacement, Sean Locklear, left last week's game with a high ankle sprain, giving way to Brandon Frye. Center Chris Spencer hasn't been able to play because of a quadriceps injury. He's getting better and will be pushing to start, where Steve Vallos has taken over since Spencer went down with an injury last year. Wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh (back) has been playing at less than full strength.

DT Israel Idonije
Getty Images: Jonathan Daniel

Alex Brown twisted his ankle at the end of last week's game. If he cannot play or is limited, it will mean more time for Mark Anderson and Israel Idonije, provided Idonije is not held back because of a knee injury of his own. Hunter Hillenmeyer and Nick Roach filled in well last week for Brian Urlacher and Pisa Tinoisamoa, respectively. Urlacher is done for the year, and Tinoisamoa is not likely back for at least another week. Danieal Manning (hamstring) returned to a starting role at free safety. He still has to prove whether or not he truly deserves the nod. With Manning as the full-time starter at free safety, kickoff-return duties fall to Johnny Knox. Cornerback Zack Bowman (hamstring) started last week and played the entire game. It was a first for him as a professional. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee) has not been a factor through two games.

If Wallace starts, he's a shorter quarterback that needs to use his mobility to find passing lanes and can be dangerous as a scrambler. With two touchdowns in two games, John Carlson is the best tight end nobody has heard of. He presents another big challenge for Hillenmeyer in the middle of the field. If the Bears can keep him in the pocket and finally get push up the gut, it will be a long day for the Seahawks. Look for the Seahawks to take the pressure off whomever is at quarterback by establishing the ground game and using rollouts and screens. The Seahawks and their troubled left tackle position will be matched against the red-hot Brown or the combination of Anderson and Idonije.

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Michael Nudo writes his Injury Analysis feature during the season every week for E-mail him at

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