Injury Report Analysis: Week 11

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers hopes to be fully recovered from his banged-up shoulder, as the Bears have been terrible in coverage. But will Nick Barnett's absence spell doom for the D? Michael Nudo breaks down all the bumps and bruises by taking a closer look at Friday's final injury report.

Green Bay Packers

Player Injury Status
LB Nick Barnett Knee OUT
DE Jeremy Thompson Groin Doubtful
CB Jarrett Bush Ankle Questionable
DT Justin Harrell Knee Questionable
CB Will Blackmon Quadricep Probable
LB Brandon Chillar Shoulder Probable
OT Chad Clifton Shoulder Probable
QB Aaron Rodgers Shoulder Probable
CB Charles Woodson Toe Probable

Chicago Bears

Player Injury Status
OT Fred Miller Shoulder Questionable
LB Hunter Hillenmeyer Thumb Probable
QB Kyle Orton Ankle Probable
CB Charles Tillman Shoulder Probable

Packers Offense vs. Bears Defense
The Packers offense is in relatively good health. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) and tackle Chad Clifton (knee) have the usual assortment of aches and pains but are not expected to miss time. They're scoring better than 26 points per game, in spite of running back Ryan Grant only averaging 3.6 yards per carry with just two touchdowns.


OT Chad Clifton
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Cornerbacks Charles Tillman (shoulder) and Nathan Vasher (thumb) have missed time this year to injuries. Although they've returned to action, opposing offenses have been carving up the Bears' secondary on short and intermediate routes. Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer (thumb) should be ready to get back on the field. He was losing snaps to Nick Roach, and it will be interesting to see how playing time is divided. Nickel back Danieal Manning (hamstring) was active last week but didn't see action. His playing time should increase. Having said all that, cornerback Corey Graham has played well over the last month subbing for injured members of the secondary. He should continue to see plenty of action against the Packers' deep receiving corps.

The Bears will need to do all they can to disrupt the timing of Rodgers and his receivers. Rodgers has had an impressive season thus far. Chicago has to contain Rodgers, who will occasionally leave the pocket to run for a first down. The Bears have not been successful in shutting down opposing quarterbacks. Green Bay is their biggest challenge since Week 1 (Indianapolis) in terms of quarterback and receivers.

Bears Offense vs. Packers Defense
Quarterback Kyle Orton (ankle) is hoping to return after missing last week's match with the Titans. Rex Grossman started against Tennessee. Grossman struggled with his accuracy throughout the contest. Orton returned to practice this week, and the signs are looking good for him to play. Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has missed over a month with a knee injury. He returned to full participation in practice last week and is expected to finally return to game-day action.


DT Justin Harrell
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Middle linebacker Nick Barnett was lost for the season when he blew out his knee against the Vikings last week. A.J. Hawk is likely to slide over to the middle, with Brandon Chillar taking Hawk's spot. The Packers lost the big body of end Cullen Jenkins earlier in the year, but they recently got back defensive tackle Justin Harrell. Cornerback Charles Woodson (toe) is expected to play. Woodson has five interceptions, with two returned for touchdowns. Return specialist Will Blackmon is making progress from a quadriceps injury and is expected to play.

The Packers have not been able to defend the run (154.6 yards allowed per game). They have excelled against the pass, where they have a mind-boggling 16 interceptions with six returned for a touchdown. Regardless of who starts at quarterback, look for the Bears to run as much as possible against Green Bay's 28th-ranked rush defense. Expect the Packers to load up the box on early downs to force the Bears into predictable passing situations, and then to sit on the short routes to add to their interception totals.

Michael Nudo writes his Injury Report Analysis feature every Friday exclusively for BearReport.com. E-mail him at mr.noots@live.com.


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