Banged-Up Defensive Line Will Face Biggest Test on Sunday

Jonathan Daniel

The Bears defensive line has been beset with injuries the last few weeks, but if the early-season has shown us anything, it's that the Bears have a deep unit.

The Bears' defensive line has taken its share of hits over a trio of very physical games, and now Henry Melton and Shea McClellin are both listed as doubtful for tomorrow's game, defensive tackle Matt Toeaina is questionable with a knee injury, Stephen Paea missed time with an injury and is probable with a foot, and Julius Peppers has been battling plantar fasciitis all season long and not playing like the Julius Peppers the Bears signed to a megadeal.

That leaves Nate Collins, Israel Idonije, Corey Wootton and the recently-re-signed Amobi Okoye as the healthy bodies on the roster.

And in a game and defense where generating pass-rush will be a large factor to determining the defense's effectiveness, having healthy guys at the end of the season, while tough to do, is essential, especially concerning the team's playoff chances could well be in jeopardy.

But this doesn't mean the unit is entirely without teeth, even should Melton, McClellin and Toeaina all miss the game. Prior to the season, the defensive line was touted as one of the deeper units in the league, discussion that carried into the regular season with every guy contributing.

Now, one of the things that's torn apart the unit's effectiveness has been the inability of the defensive line to get their rotation going, to give their impact players a bit of a breather, and with the injuries on the line, that'll be more difficult to achieve, considering the players involved. For instance, Idonije's gotten quite a bit more practice time at the interior with Melton doubtful and Paea and Toeaina hampered.

That being said, Peppers will still start, Corey Wootton's had a nice season so far, Paea's come along pretty well, and in his limited action, Nate Collins has shown some pretty good flashes.

Clearly, if Melton isn't able to go, the line loses some of its effectiveness, and McClellin provides another spelling option when healthy, but the Bears still have the guys to make enough of an impact in the pass rush. But the depth, which was so effective early in the year, will face their biggest test of the season on Sunday.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Windy City Gridiron

You must be a member of Windy City Gridiron to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Windy City Gridiron. You should read them.

Join Windy City Gridiron

You must be a member of Windy City Gridiron to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Windy City Gridiron. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker