|LB Hunter Hillenmeyer||Rib||Doubtful|
|LB Pisa Tinoisamoa||Knee||Doubtful|
|LB Lance Briggs||Foot||Questionable|
|DE Alex Brown||Ankle||Questionable|
|DT Israel Idonije||Knee||Questionable|
|DT Anthony Adams||Knee||Probable|
|TE Desmond Clark||Rib||Probable|
|RB Matt Forte||Knee||Probable|
|DT Tommie Harris||Knee||Probable|
|LS Patrick Mannelly||Forearm||Probable|
|DT Sammie Hill||Ankle||Doubtful|
|S Kalvin Pearson||Quadriceps||Doubtful|
|DE Dewayne White||Hamstring||Doubtful|
|DE Cliff Avril||Hamstring||Questionable|
|DT Grady Jackson||Knee||Questionable|
|CB Eric King||Shoulder||Questionable|
|LB Ernie Sims||Shoulder||Questionable|
|RB Kevin Smith||Shoulder||Questionable|
|QB Drew Stanton||Knee||Probable|
Bears Offense vs. Lions Defense
The Lions managed to beat the Redskins last week despite having Ernie Sims on the sideline with a shoulder injury and an assortment of bumps and bruises. DeAndre Levy played well for Sims, who might still need more time to recover. Their defensive line is where they're really hurting. Defensive tackle Sammie Hill left last week's game with an ankle injury. His availability is clearly in question. The same goes for veteran Grady Jackson (knee). These two are their wide-load run stuffers. At right defensive end, Cliff Avril (hamstring) missed last week's game but is making progress. Dewayne White also has a hamstring injury and missed practice time this week. Cornerback Eric King is recovering from a shoulder injury. Phillip Buchanon will get the start if King cannot play.
If Hill and Jackson are out, the Bears should be able to finally flex their muscles and win the physical battle in the middle. The Bears' offensive line has struggled getting any movement on opposing defensive linemen, as evidenced by their 28th-ranked rushing offense. Look for the Bears to continue doing what works. They'll try the run, but in no way are they married to it.
Lions Offense vs. Bears Defense
Alex Brown was largely ineffective last week while playing on a sprained ankle. He's hoping to be closer to form for Sunday. At middle linebacker, Hunter Hillenmeyer, who was playing for the already injured Brian Urlacher, left last week's game with a rib injury. It's not believed to be serious. However, when Nick Roach slid over from the strong side to take his place in the middle, it was something of a revelation. Roach had been manning the strong side for Pisa Tinoisamoa, who hurt his knee on the first defensive series of the season. Although Tinoisamoa is believed to be close to making his return, it seems more than likely that he'll get this week off and the bye week to get ready for the fifth game. It will be interesting to see if Roach gets a longer look in the middle upon Tinoisamoa's return to the strong side. Jamar Williams took over the strong side when Roach moved to the middle. The Bears again signed linebacker and special-teams ace Darrell McClover. His signing comes at the expense of cornerback DeAngelo Smith. NFC Defensive Player of the Week Lance Briggs was limited in practice this week because of a foot injury but is expected to be ready for Sunday.
The Lions turned over more than half of their roster (31 players) since last year's 0-16 debacle. Top draft pick Matthew Stafford has all the tools and is being given the opportunity to learn on the job under center. Look for the Bears to challenge him in many ways, from bringing different blitz packages to disguising coverage that seeks to neutralize wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Agree? Disagree? Let your voice be heard on our message board RIGHT HERE.