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Chicago Bears DT Jeremiah Ratliff could return from suspension versus Raiders

The team isn't saying much as Ratliff continues nursing an ankle injury sustained in the preseason, but they could have their best defensive lineman back on the field this weekend versus the Raiders.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest weak spots for the Chicago Bears is their defensive tackle position, due to a combination of lack of talent, lack of experience, and lack of depth.

They have been without starting DT Jeremiah Ratliff for the first three games this season due to a suspension stemming from a 2013 DWI conviction, but defensive coordinator Vic Fangio says that he wouldn't have played anyway due to his ankle injury from preseason.

"You definitely lose some conditioning for two reasons," said defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. "One, just the inactivity. And two, he was nursing an ankle injury. He wouldn't have played these first three games anyway, even if he wasn't suspended. So, he's questionable for this game. So you put those two things together, it will be a chore for him to get back into playing shape.

How much could Ratliff play?  "He probably will not be able to play as many plays as we would normally like him to."

You can bet that John Fox's coordinators will follow suit with the ambiguous, non-descriptive injury updates pertaining to specific players, but Ratliff returned to practice on Wednesday and if he is able to go on Sunday in and shape, form or fashion, you can expect him on the football field.

Fangio stated during Training Camp that Ratliff was the only "really good player" that the DL had, and with the struggles and lack of disruption in the trenches, he would make an immediate upgrade to the position.

Will Ratliff start the Sunday?  Stay tuned...