Noots' Notes: Week 7 Injury Analysis

Michael Nudo breaks down the bumps and bruises by taking a close look at Friday's final injury report, as the Chicago Bears travel to Cincinnati in Week 7 for a showdown with the Bengals.

Chicago Bears

Player Injury Status
LB Pisa Tinoisamoa Knee OUT
DT Tommie Harris Knee Doubtful
RB Adrian Peterson Knee Doubtful
S Josh Bullocks Ankle Probable
CB Corey Graham Ankle Probable
LB Hunter Hillenmeyer Rib Probable
DT Israel Idonije Knee Probable
S Kevin Payne Toe Probable

Cincinnati Bengals

Player Injury Status
DE Antwan Odom Achilles OUT
OT Andre Smith Foot OUT
S Roy Williams Forearm Doubtful
DE Jonathan Fanene Illness Questionable
WR Chris Henry Illness Questionable
TE Dan Coats Shoulder Probable
DT Tank Johnson Foot Probable
RB Brian Leonard Groin Probable
WR Chad Ochocinco Hip Probable
DT Domata Peko Knee Probable
DE Frostee Rucker Ankle Probable
DT Pat Sims Biceps Probable

Bears Offense vs. Bengals Defense
Other than running back depth, the Bears offense is in good health. The Bears were hoping to get backup running back Adrian Peterson back on the field this week. Peterson not only is good at picking up short yardage but is a four-phase special-teams standout. He was sorely missed on special teams against the Falcons. However, based on practice, his return seems less than likely for this week's contest. Garrett Wolfe is expected to spell Matt Forte as his backup. Wolfe can cause fits for the defense if he gets free in space.


DE Antwan Odom
Getty Images: Scott Boehm

The Bengals lost their best pass-rushing threat last week when defensive end Antwan Odom (8.0 sacks) suffered a season-ending Achilles' tendon injury. Jonathan Fanene is expected to take his place at end. Rookie Michael Johnson will get more looks as well. Safety Roy Williams is recovering from a forearm injury that kept him out against the Texans. Chinedum Ndukwe will start if Williams cannot play. Ndukwe has 24 tackles in the last three games. Defensive tackle Domata Peko injured his knee last week. He's a key to the Bengals run defense. Pat Sims will see more time on the field while Peko gets back to full strength. He collected a sack against Houston. Former Bear Tank Johnson is getting closer to full strength after a foot injury limited his play prior to last week.

Despite their mantra of "we get off the bus running the football," look for the Bears to continue throwing about twice as much as they run. The Bengals will sorely miss the pass rush of Odom from a defense that already ranks 28th against the pass (254.8 yards allowed per game).

Bengals Offense vs. Bears Defense
What a difference a year makes. At this time last year, Forte was lighting up the league for the Bears and Cedric Benson was desperately looking for one more opportunity. Since getting the starting job late last season, Benson has become the runner the Bears hoped he would be when they used a high first-round draft pick on him. Benson is second in rushing in the AFC. Speaking of first-rounders, tackle Andre Smith (broken foot) returned to practice this week.


DT Israel Idonije
Getty Images: Jonathan Daniel

Strong-side linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa made his return last week after injuring his knee in the season opener. Unfortunately, he reinjured that knee against the Falcons and has been lost for the season. When middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was lost for the season in the opener, Hunter Hillenmeyer took over. He has missed the last few games with a rib injury. He's expected to return to action for the Bengals game. Meanwhile, Nick Roach has impressed and is likely to retain his duties in the middle. Hillenmeyer and Jamar Williams will see action on the strong side, where Hillenmeyer was a regular starter for the Bears in recent years. All-purpose defensive lineman Israel Idonije underwent minor knee surgery during the bye week and should be ready for action Sunday. Defensive tackle Anthony Adams has been bothered by a toe injury. Tommie Harris, who usually gets a day off during the week to rest a bad knee, didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday. If he and Adams are limited, Marcus Harrison will see additional reps, and either Matt Toeaina or rookie Jarron Gilbert will be active.

The Bengals like to keep an even balance of run and pass, with Carson Palmer looking to Chad Ochocinco for the big plays and Benson (127 carries, 531 yards, 4 TDs) to run the rock. After being frustrated by the quick passes of the Falcons, the Bears front four should have a better time getting to Palmer. Newly-acquired defensive end Gaines Adams figures to get into the mix for his first reps as a Bear. Keep an eye out for the Bears blitzing their safeties and linebackers, since the Bengals rarely look to their tight ends.


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Michael Nudo writes his Injury Analysis feature during the season every week for BearReport.com. E-mail him at mr.noots@live.com.


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