Noots' Notes: Week 13 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 take on the St. Louis Rams in Week 13 at Soldier Field.

Chicago Bears

Player Injury Status
LB Lance Briggs Knee Doubtful
OT Orlando Pace Groin Doubtful
TE Desmond Clark Neck Questionable
DT Tommie Harris Knee Questionable
CB Charles Tillman Concussion Questionable
DE Alex Brown Calf Probable

St. Louis Rams

Player Injury Status
QB Marc Bulger Knee OUT
FB Mike Karney Neck OUT
OT Jason Smith Concussion OUT
RB Steven Jackson Back Questionable
C Jason Brown Knee Probable
LB James Laurinaitis Shoulder Probable
G Richie Incognito Foot Probable

Bears Offense vs. Rams Defense
Left tackle Orlando Pace is injured (groin). He has been largely a disappointment. A line shakeup is in order, with Chris Williams moved from right to left tackle and Kevin Shaffer installed on the right side. It will be interesting to see Williams finally playing the position for which he was drafted. Shaffer is also better on the right side. His run blocking could be an ingredient the Bears were sorely missing.

Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis has a sore shoulder but should be ready to go. The Rams have lost quite a few defensive tackles for the season to injury in C.J. Ah You, Adam Carriker and Gary Gibson. This would explain their poor run defense, which is ranked 28th in the league (148.5 yards allowed per game).

OT Orlando Pace
Getty Images: Doug Pensinger

The Rams are 1-10 for a reason. Their defense is 30th overall. The Bears need to get better on offense. The Rams should be a good medicine to cure their current offensive ills. Look for the Bears to be a little more patient against the Rams. This might be one of those rare times when the attack is balanced.

Rams Offense vs. Bears Defense
The Rams offense is battered. On the line, center Jason Brown injured his knee in last week's game. Mark Setterstrom played center for him, while John Greco stepped in at guard. Tackle Jason Smith is recovering from a concussion, while guard Richie Incognito has a foot injury. Running back Steven Jackson played last week with painful back spasms and is expected to be ready in spite of his balky back again this week. Quarterback Marc Bulger will miss at least a few more games with a shin injury. Kyle Boller will start on Sunday. Wide receivers Laurent Robinson, Keenan Burton and Brooks Foster are already on IR.

Weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs suffered injuries to his hip and knee in Sunday's loss to Minnesota. Jamar Williams will play if Briggs isn't ready. The Bears added depth by signing Cato June to a one-year deal Tuesday. This paved the way for Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) to finally be placed on IR. Cornerback Charles Tillman suffered a mild concussion last week and returned to full practice on Thursday. If he is not cleared for action, Corey Graham is expected to step in.

The Rams are also ranked 30th on offense. This would be a good time for the defense to wake up. Adewale Ogunleye hasn't produced many sacks over the last month. This should be a big matchup game for him and Tommie Harris against an offensive line that is in shambles. Look for the Rams to test the Bears' run defense behind Jackson, the NFC's leading rusher.

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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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