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The Bear's Den: December 21, 2016

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The Bears prep for a winnable Washington game this Saturday...

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Ken's Note: Due to the holiday season (and the fact that I won't be around a computer much this weekend) The Bears Den will be on a modified schedule. We will have a "normal" Den on Saturday (Game Day) and our weekend "Bears Den Open Thread" will be for Sunday and Monday.

BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!!

KYLE FULLER

Emma: Bears Don’t See CB Kyle Fuller ‘Champing At The Bit’ To Return - CBS Chicago - Fangio made it clear that Fuller's return is in his own hands.

Mullin: Kyle Fuller's future with Bears in question as he continues to sit - CSN Chicago - Kyle Fuller's career with the Bears appears to be in serious doubt as he still remains sidelined from offseason knee surgery.

Campbell: Kyle Fuller's desire to play 'hard to measure' as activation deadline looms - Chicago Tribune - When Kyle Fuller had arthroscopic surgery on one of his knees in mid-August, the Bears believed it was minor. They expected him, in a worst-case scenario, to miss only a couple weeks of the regular season.

BEARRRSSSS

Mamola: John Fox Should Not be Fired, Despite Record - NFL Spin ZoneJohn Fox may have a losing record as head coach of the Chicago Bears, but he shouldn't be fired following the 2016 season.

Lunch with Larry: 12.20.16 - ChicagoBears.com - Bears Senior Writer Larry Mayer answers fan questions during the lunch hour beginning at noon CT every Tuesday during the season.

Mayer: Bears begin prepping for home finale - ChicagoBears.com - Two days after their deflating 30-27 loss to the Packers, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to begin preparing for Saturday's home finale against the Redskins.

Perez: Bears hold steady at 4th pick in first round of 2017 NFL draft - Bears Wire - The Bears are currently the fourth pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft

Potash: Vic Fangio's defense takes its turn on the spot - Chicago Sun-Times - The Bears’ season-long offensive issues take a back seat this week.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Why didn't John Fox, Bears go for win over Packers? - CSN Chicago - In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, the panel talks about why the Bears didn't go for the win and if John Fox is the right guy long-term.

Rosenbloom: Shouldn't the Bears be able to tackle by now? - ChicagoTribune.com - John Fox continues to bleat the same lame narrative that his players didn’t quit in this 3-11 season. He’s trying to take credit for something that should never be an issue. Or maybe the Bears head coach with a defensive pedigree is trying to distract everyone from noticing that Fox’s defense couldn’t or wouldn't tackle Sunday.

Boden: 'How much do you like me now?' Not as much - CSN Chicago - The Bears defense will have its hands full with Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins on Saturday, looking to rebound from the way Sunday's loss ended.

Finley: Bears' Jerrell Freeman takes onus in return from PED suspension - Chicago Sun-Times
Jerrell Freeman spent his first 10 games as a Bears player appealing a performance-enhancing drug suspension.

Boden: Washington defense added Josh Norman, but still just normal - CSN Chicago - Despite adding Josh Norman in free agency, the Washington Redskins defense ranks no higher than 22nd in a plethora of categories.

Emma: Bears DC Vic Fangio Falls On Sword For Packers’ Game-Changing Play - CBS Chicago
The Packers set up their win over the Bears on a 60-yard strike in the final seconds Sunday.

LeGere: Even at 1-3, Chicago Bears QB Barkley turning heads - Daily Herald - Matt Barkley's 1-3 record as a starter isn't much better than Jay Cutler's or Brian Hoyer's. Both of them went 1-4 before incurring season-ending injuries. But much less was expected from Barkley, who had never started an NFL game before he did so for the Chicago Bears on Nov. 27 against the Tennessee Titans.

POLISH SAUSAGE

John B: How Badly Do the Jets Want to Avoid Playing Christian Hackenberg? - Gang Green Nation - Bryce Petty's injury in Saturday night's loss to the Dolphins has his status for this Saturday's game against the Patriots as unclear. What will happen if Petty cannot go? We might find out how badly the Jets want to avoid playing Christian Hackenberg.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Once-comfortable Lions now looking in rear-view mirror - Chicago Sun-Times - The NFC-North leading Lions (9-5) close the season next Monday night at the NFC-leading Dallas Cowboys (12-2), then are home against the Packers (8-7)

Gantt: Mike McCarthy "Low workload" for entire roster this week - ProFootballTalk - Faced with a short week, the Packers have plenty of reason to ease up on Aaron Rodgers this week. Then again, it's a short week for practically the entire league, so the Packers are going to ease up on everyone. Via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.

Alper: NFC playoff picture Packers rise as Lions drop - ProFootballTalk - The same four teams that were in the lead in NFC divisional races after Week 14 remain there in Week 15, but there's been a change in fortunes for the Lions.

Smith: Lions-Packers, Titans-Texans likely to decide divisions in Week 17 - ProFootballTalk - The best Week 17 games are the ones that determine division titles, and it appears that we'll have two of them this season. The NFC North and AFC South are both likely to be decided with head-to-head games on the final day of the regular season, Sunday, January 1.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Zeglinski: Where’s Kyle Fuller? Bears’ patience running thin with the corner. - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears coaching staff heavily implied the ball is in Fuller’s corner in return from injured reserve. It’s fair to wonder if brass has lost all patience.

Wiltfong: Where does Matt Barkley fit in Chicago's 2017 plans? - Windy City Gridiron - In Lester's latest T Formation Conversation Podcast, he looks at some other unconventionally discovered "franchise" quarterbacks. He also wonders why the Bears can't bring Matt Barkley back and draft a guy...

Silverstein: Dear John Fox - let them be heroes - Windy City Gridiron - When John Fox played it safe Sunday, he denied his players a chance to be heroes. Back in 1997, at the helm of an 0-6 Bears team, Dave Wannstedt made a different call.

Zeglinski's Bearish and Bullish, Week 15: Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers - Windy City Gridiron - Aaron Rodgers familiarly drove a dagger into the Bears’ heart, as questions of coaching decisions loom in the Week 15 stock report.

Noble: NFL Mock Draft 2017 Chicago Bears select QB Mitch Trubisky in latest SB Nation mock - Windy City Gridiron - Would you like to see this quarterback in Navy and Orange?

Wiltfong's Ten Thoughts on the NFL - Windy City Gridiron - Check out my latest Ten Thoughts on the NFL and make sure you play along by adding a few thoughts of your own in the comment section!

Householder: Bears play perfect game for draft position Sunday - Windy City Gridiron - An entertaining game that ultimately came up short

FANPOSTS

FanPosts - Recent - Windy City Gridiron - Here's a link to our FanPost section, where YOU have the opportunity to contribute to Windy City Gridiron. Take a few minutes and write a post about what you are thinking about regarding the Chicago Bears, and there'a chance it will be linked right here in the Den.

THE RULES

Windy City Gridiron Community Guidelines - SBNation.com - We strive to make our communities open and inclusive to sports fans of all backgrounds. The following is not permitted in comments, FanPosts, usernames or anywhere else in an SB Nation community: Comments, FanPosts or usernames that are intolerant or prejudiced; Personal attacks or threats on community members; Gendered insults of any kind; Trolling; Click link for full information.

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