Noots' Notes: Week 10 Injury Analysis

Michael Nudo breaks down the bumps and bruises by taking a close look at Wednesday's final injury report, as the Chicago Bears face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10 at Candlestick Park.

Chicago Bears

Player Injury Status
S Kevin Payne Back OUT
LB Pisa Tinoisamoa Knee OUT
RB Garrett Wolfe Kidney OUT
S Al Afalava Shoulder Questionable
TE Desmond Clark Neck Probable
DT Tommie Harris Knee Probable
CB Charles Tillman Shoulder Probable

San Francisco 49ers

Player Injury Status
CB Nate Clements Shoulder OUT
RB Glen Coffee Concussion OUT
DT Demetric Evans Shoulder OUT
OT Joe Staley Knee OUT
WR Isaac Bruce Ankle Questionable
G David Baas Shoulder Probable
CB Tarell Brown Rib Probable
TE Vernon Davis Shoulder Probable
RB Frank Gore Eye Probable
WR Jason Hill Ankle Probable
WR Brandon Jones Knee Probable
S Michael Lewis Quadriceps Probable
RB Michael Robinson Shoulder Probable
LB Takeo Spikes Shoulder Probable
S Curtis Taylor Shin Probable
TE Dalanie Walker Shin/Knee Probable

Bears Offense vs. 49ers Defense
Backup running back and special-teams ace Garrett Wolfe suffered a lacerated kidney in last week's loss to Arizona. He could miss a month of action. More of the backup load will fall to Adrian Peterson, who has played in each of the last two games after missing some time with a knee injury suffered before the bye. Tight end Desmond Clark has a neck injury that isn't believed to be severe. He has faded into the background since he suffered an injury earlier in the season. Greg Olsen's three-touchdown performance last week was one of the few bright spots on a terrible afternoon.

CB Nate Clements
Getty Images: Jed Jacobsohn

Cornerback Nate Clements (shoulder) isn't expected to be ready for this week. Tarell Brown will likely get the start in Clements' absence. Strong safety Michael Lewis (quadriceps) isn't expected to miss any time. Veteran linebacker Takeo Spikes is recovering from a shoulder injury. He had a quiet game against the Titans last week.

The Niners have the fourth-best run defense (93.2 yards per game allowed) in the NFL. They're keeping the yards-per-carry average of their opponents down, as well (3.4). They've struggled to prevent teams from passing on them, and the loss of Clements isn't going to help their situation. Look for the Bears to continue doing the one thing they've done well: throw.

49ers Offense vs. Bears Defense
The Niners are decimated at offensive tackle. Right tackle Tony Pashos was lost for the season with a broken shoulder blade. Left tackle Joe Staley is expected to be out for a while with a knee injury. Barry Sims and Adam Snyder will be starting at tackle. The Niners have allowed eight sacks over the last two weeks. Veteran wide receiver Isaac Bruce has an ankle injury that may limit him Thursday.

S Kevin Payne
Getty Images: Otto Greule Jr.

The Bears secondary is beat up. Strong safety Al Afalava and cornerback Charles Tillman suffered shoulder injuries last week. Tillman is not expected to miss any time. Afalava may be out, and his backup, Kevin Payne (back), is also hurt. Craig Steltz and Josh Bullocks will need to step up if called upon. The Bears are already playing two backups at linebacker in Hunter Hillenmeyer and Nick Roach with Brian Urlacher and Pisa Tinoisamoa out for the season.

After having looked at the tape of what happened against the Bengals and Cardinals, and considering the state of their line, it would be shocking to not see Frank Gore get 20 or more carries. Expect the Niners to use play action to work tight end Vernon Davis against the Bears' backup linebackers. Rookie receiver Michael Crabtree is becoming more of a factor in their offense. If the Bears can get out to a rare early lead, they can force the Niners to throw. This would allow ends Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye to get after quarterback Alex Smith. But the only way to get out to a lead is if this defense can stop someone.

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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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