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The Bear’s Den, December 27, 2018

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Long practices, Robinson sits, Nagy explains as Chicago prepares to road trip to Minnesota this Sunday

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Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears
Linebacker Otis Wilson #55 of the Chicago Bears shadows quarterback Tommy Kramer #9 of the Minnesota Vikings during a game in 1987 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo By Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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

BEARRRSSSS

Under Center Podcast: How much should the Bears rest players against Minnesota? - NBC Sports Chicago - JJ Stankevitz and John “Moon” Mullin discuss what Matt Nagy’s rest strategy could look like this week against Minnesota, and if it’s better to face the Vikings for the second time in a week than a red-hot Philadelphia Eagles team.

Mayer: Long continuing to make steady progress - ChicagoBears.com - Bears coach Matt Nagy remains cautiously optimistic that guard Kyle Long, who’s recovering from a foot injury that has sidelined him since Oct. 28, will be able to play in Sunday’s regular-season finale in Minnesota.

Wednesday weigh-in: Bears prep for Vikings - ChicagoBears.com - Still in contention for a first-round bye in the playoffs, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to prepare for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Vikings in Minnesota.

Lunch with Larry: 12.26.18 - ChicagoBears.com - Bears Senior Writer Larry Mayer looks at the playoff picture, Kyle Long’s future this season, and what the offense needs to do in order to keep winning during his weekly Q&A with fans.

Really? Surprising Bears stats following Week 16 - ChicagoBears.com - Following Sunday’s win over the 49ers, here are some noteworthy facts, figures and stats about the game and the season to this point.

Medina: Kyle Long Might Just Play This Sunday! - Bleacher Nation - Kyle Long could play on Sunday against the Vikings.

Potash: Kyle Long’s return invigorating Bears, Trubisky - ’It makes the offense better’ - Chicago Sun-Times - But he’s on pace to possibly get a test-run Sunday — and if all goes well, play full-time in the Bears’ playoff opener on Jan. 5-6.

Finley: Bears WR Allen Robinson, S Eddie Jackson, OLB Aaron Lynch miss practice - Sun Times - The Bears practiced Wednesday without their receiving yards leader or Pro Bowl safety.

Finley: Bears stick up for Mitch Trubisky but aren't focused on Vikings' Harrison Smith - Sun Times - The Bears will face the Vikings, and safety Harrison Smith, on Sunday for the first time since his hit injured Mitch Trubisky.

Jahns: QB Mitch Trubisky is learning but still winning - Sun Times - Bears QB Mitch Trubisky will face the Vikings for the second time this season on Sunday.

Morrissey: Bears linebacker Khalil Mack deserves the NFL MVP award - Sun Times - There’s not a player in the NFL who has influenced a team more positively than he has this season. He has made a good Bears defense a great defense.

Finley: Finale vs. Vikes a needed playoff warm-up for Trubisky, Bears O - Sun Times - The offense hasn’t found that midseason groove. The Bears have dropped from 10th in the NFL in yards per play (5.8) to 21st (5.4).

Kane: Bears QB Mitch Trubisky’s mind is on building momentum against Vikings, not the hit that took 2 games from his season - Chicago Tribune - If Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky still harbors bad memories of the late hit by Vikings safety Harrison Smith, he wasn’t about to share them Wednesday.

Campbell: 'A plan and process.' Matt Nagy reserves option to pull Bears starters from Sunday's game at Vikings - Chicago Tribune - Coach Matt Nagy reserves the option to pull Bears players from Sunday's regular season finale against the Vikings if it becomes clear that the Rams are going to beat the 49ers and lock the Bears into the No. 3 seed in the NFC.

Kane: 'When we make plays, we want to enjoy them' - Ranking the Bears' top 10 celebrations this season - Chicago Tribune - The Bears defense has 27 interceptions, 36 takeaways overall and six touchdowns this season — giving the players ample opportunities to show off their skills at celebrating.

Stankevitz: Will Mitch Trubisky’s progress vs. zone defense give teams something to think about in the playoffs? - NBC Sports Chicago - Mitch Trubisky has shown progress against zone defenses in the last two games. Will that change how defenses approach him in the playoffs?

POLISH SAUSAGE

Skip Bayless: The Real-Life Diet of FS1’s Chief Fitness Enthusiast - GQ - Skip Bayless eats the same meal ten times a week and claims that he’s missed only two days of cardio over the past 27 years.

KNOW THY ENEMY

POLL: Do you want the Detroit Lions to sweep the Packers? - Pride Of Detroit - #TeamTank or #TeamFTP? Ken's Note: Never has there been a more graphic illustration of the difference between Bears fans and Lions fans. This isn't about losing to Cincy, or one of the LA teams or Denver, it's the DAMNED PACKERS. Rather my team lose to them? There's just not enough "no" in the world to cover that!

Vikings Injury Update: Eric Kendricks, Xavier Rhodes do not practice, uncertain for Sunday - Daily Norseman - The Vikings injury report has a couple big names

Packers interview Jim Caldwell for head-coaching position, per report - Acme Packing Company - The Packers’ search for their next head coach has begun in earnest, reportedly bringing in former Colts and Lions headman Jim Caldwell for an interview.

D.J. Swearinger will wear Cardinals helmet if he plays in Pro Bowl – ProFootballTalk - It's not often that a player gets cut after making a Pro Bowl team, but D.J. Swearinger was cut by Washington and claimed by Arizona this week -- after being chosen as a Pro Bowl alternate last week.

Could keeping Joe Philbin as head coach actually work for the Packers? - Acme Packing Company - While it might not be the best scenario for Green Bay, there’s a way to make Philbin’s interim title permanent and still get better.

NFL head coach candidates: Names to know for this hiring cycle - NFL.com - Need a primer for the NFL's forthcoming coaching carousel? Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport have you covered! Here's a breakdown of all the names you need to know.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Wiltfong's Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2018: Week 16 vs. San Francisco 49ers - Windy City Gridiron - The pass protection wasn’t the cleanest for the Chicago Bears on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, but Mitchell Trubisky was still able to complete a career high 86.2% of his passes....

Sunderbruch: Will Offensive Struggles Cost the Bears? - Windy City Gridiron - A dominant defense? Check. Questionable offense? Check. Must be Bears’ playoff football.

WhiskyRanger's Bears Mailbag: Is Anthony Miller Going to be a Problem? - Windy City Gridiron - Substitute Teacher Edition!

Wiltfong: Bears franchise milestones within reach - Windy City Gridiron - There’s only one game remaining in the 2018 season for the Chicago Bears, and a lot of seasonal and franchise milestones are there for the taking.

WCG CONTRIBUTORS BEARS PODCASTS & STREAMS

2 Minute Drill - Website - iTunes - Andrew Link; Steven’s StreamingTwitch – Steven Schweickert; T-Formation Conversation - Website - iTunes - Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; WCG Radio - Website - iTunes - Robert Zeglinski

THE RULES

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WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.