Noots' Notes: Week 9 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 host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9 at Soldeier Field.

Chicago Bears

Player Injury Status
LB Pisa Tinoisamoa Knee OUT
WR Devin Hester Ankle Questionable
S Danieal Manning Back Questionable
LB Lance Briggs Shoulder Probable
DT Tommie Harris Knee Probable
DT Israel Idonije Knee Probable
DE Adewale Ogunleye Ankle Probable
TE Greg Olsen Ankle Probable
S Greg Steltz Biceps Probable
DT Matt Toeaina Calf Probable

Arizona Cardinals

Player Injury Status
WR Anquan Boldin Ankle Questionable
LB Gerald Hayes Back Questionable
DE Kenny Iwebema Knee Questionable
WR Sean Morey Illness Questionable
CB Michael Adams Hamstring Questionable
DT Darnell Dockett Ankle Probable
S Antrel Rolle Foot Probable
WR Steve Breaston Knee Probable
K Neil Rackers Hamstring Probable
LB Herman Johnson Back Probable
TE Stephen Spach Ankle Probable
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Finger Probable
RB Jason Wright Thumb Probable
G Reggie Wells Thumb Probable

Bears Offense vs. Cardinals Defense
Wide receiver Devin Hester shows up on the report with an ankle injury he suffered on a reception that took him just short of the goal line in last week's game against the Browns. He's expected to play Sunday. Hester has come on strong in the three games since the bye week. He has 21 catches for 265 yards and a touchdown in that span. If Hester is limited, punt-return duties might fall to Earl Bennett. Further, backup wideout Devin Aromashodu might be active. Backup running back Adrian Peterson (knee) returned to special-teams duties last week without a problem. He might be ready to contribute to the offense this week. Tight end Greg Olsen (ankle) is not expected to miss any time. The Bears are deep at tight end, with Desmond Clark and Kellen Davis ready to take more reps.


S Antrel Rolle
Getty Images: Christian Petersen

Former Bears defensive tackle Bryan Robinson is a fixture in the middle of Arizona's defense. He will have plenty of opportunities to trade paint with Bears center Olin Kreutz. Yes, the Cardinals also run the 3-4. Robinson is the smallest nose tackle the Bears have faced this year. Linebacker Gerald Hayes (back) is expected to be ready for Sunday, as is Darnell Dockett (ankle). Dockett's role as a disruptive influence is similar to Tommie Harris on the Bears. Safety Antrel Rolle has been nursing a foot injury and is expected to play.

The Cardinals are 3-0 on the road, while the Bears are 3-0 at home. Arizona is only allowing 96.4 rushing yards per game, in spite of the Panthers putting up 270 yards on them a week ago. Expect the Bears to display the kind of patient, balanced offense they utilized against Cleveland. They minimized mistakes, moved the ball and scored. Look for the Cardinals to check on whether or not the Bears have improved their blitz pickups since last week.

Cardinals Offense vs. Bears Defense
Standout wide receiver Anquan Boldin has a high ankle sprain. It's a nagging injury that might prompt coach Ken Wisenhunt to sit him to allow it to heal. However, Boldin is one of the toughest players in the NFL. Steve Breaston has been a capable backup but is also nursing a sore knee. Their passing attack poses problems for secondaries across the NFL. It will be interesting to see how they attack the Bears, especially considering quarterback Kurt Warner's familiarity with Lovie Smith's defense from their time together in St. Louis.


S Danieal Manning
Getty Images: Jonathan Daniel

Returning Hunter Hillenmeyer to the middle and Nick Roach to the strong side settled the Bears' linebacking corps. Both have played extensively since Brian Urlacher and Pisa Tinoisamoa were injured at the beginning of the season. Defensive end Adewale Ogunleye has been playing through an ankle injury. He hasn't had a strong game in several weeks. Alex Brown will draw former Bear Mike Gandy as his assignment on Sunday. Linebacker Lance Briggs and safety Danieal Manning have some minor aches and pains but are expected to be fully ready for Sunday.

Look for Arizona to test inexperienced cornerback Zack Bowman. Warner has one of the quickest releases in football. The Bears must pressure him to keep the passes short. If they want to create sacks and turnovers, they'll need to combine pressure with tight coverage. Can they do this against the physical receivers of Arizona?


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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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