There are a few different ways that NFL teams get to evaluate their depth at different positions, and the Chicago Bears have been presented those chances as the 2009 season dwindles down.
During a slide of disappointment like the Bears have seen, many teams like to turn their attention to younger players, as to see what sort of future they might have the following season. Also, injuries always occur, and backups get to see the field to prove that they deserve a roster spot.
Here are some updates that might prove to present interesting scenarios for the Bears this week and beyond:
Lance Briggs is set to return this week at WLB... he missed last week with a knee injury and hip pointer. His backup, Jamar Williams, had a career day last week against the Rams. Does this mean that Williams will sit versus the Packers, or does he slide over to the strong side in place of Nick Roach, who is also having a strong season?
Orlando Pace is also set to return this week. Chris Williams slid over from the right side to the left in Pace's absence, and Lovie Smith sang the praises of Williams following his first game at LT. If Pace is good to go, which it looks like he will be, do the Bears return him to his starting LT role, or do they continue with Williams and Shaffer?
Smith has repeatedly said that they will field the team who is most likely to help win the game, so we'll see what combo at the OT positions they will go with. Pace said that he feels like he can play, and hasn't shown any interest in retiring. He still has 2 years on his contract after 2009.
Jay Cutler (hand), Matt Forte (hand), and Devin Hester (calf) are all expected to have full participation Wednesday.