Tomorrow night’s game isn’t the usual Thursday night contest between two teams that just played four days prior, because this TNF match-up features two teams on their usual seven days of prep time as both the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys last played on Thanksgiving. On that day the Bears came back to beat the Detroit Lions on the road in Motown, while the Cowboys were smacked around by the Buffalo Bills in Big D.
Both teams could have benefited from playing on Sunday however, as both have a lengthy injury list for the game, The injured players haven’t really affected the line at all and sites like Online Sports Betting Odds NJ are still showing the Bears to be a +3.
Here’s how the official injury list shapes up.
The Bears have already ruled out the following players (all starters); Right tackle Bobby Massie (ankle), tight end Ben Braunecker (concussion), wide out Taylor Gabriel (concussion), and inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (elbow).
Cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) was listed as doubtful, which means he is not likely to play, and keep in mind he hasn’t practiced at all this week, so I would expect him to be inactive.
Also, don’t forget that earlier this week the Bears placed tight end Adam Shaheen and defensive back/special teamer Sherrick McManis on injured reserve.
On offense, Cornelius Lucas will get the start at right tackle, Javon Wims will start at wide receiver, and rookie UDFA Jesper Horsted could get another start at tight end. Other tight ends on the active roster are Bradley Sowell, J.P. Holtz, and the newly signed Eric Saubert.
Defensively, it’ll be Nick Kwiatkoski making his fourth start in a row for Trevathan, and Kevin Toliver II making just the second start of his career at corner if Prince can’t go. Rookie defensive back Duke Shelley will likely be active for the second week in a row.
For Dallas, they’ll be without starting outside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck), starting strong safety Jeff Heath (both shoulders), and starting defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (knee). Missing Vander Esch, a 6’4” tackling machine, is a big blow to their defense, and with Woods out they’ll likely turn to rookie second-round pick Trysten Hill. Darian Thompson, a four year vet, will get the start at safety for Heath.
Running back Tony Pollard is listed as questionable (ankle) and reports have him as a true game time decision.