A crucial stretch of games awaits the Bears over the next several weeks. Each of Chicago’s next four opponents (the Panthers, Rams, Saints, and Titans) currently sit above .500 as viable postseason contenders. If the Bears are to make any kind of playoff push of their own, it is imperative the roster is firing on all cylinders.
Fortunately, for Matt Nagy and company’s sake, the Bears could not be in a better position in regards to health at this stage of the season. A visit to the Panthers and Charlotte this coming Sunday sees Chicago at (relative) full strength.
Friday’s injury report had but a couple sizable revelations. Alex Bars, on the precipice of potentially stepping in as James Daniels’ full-time replacement at left guard, was a full participant with a shoulder injury. The Bears declined to officially denote whether the second-year Bars or Rashaad Coward will be the starter against Carolina on Sunday. At least Bars has a clean bill of health before that decision is made.
Meanwhile, Deon Bush continues to be plagued by a nagging hamstring. The veteran safety and big nickel contributor was held out completely from Friday’s practice. It would be a noticeable loss for Chuck Pagano’s defense in special packages and the Bears’ third phase if Bush were not able to strap on the pads against the Panthers.
In less notable injury news, Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Jimmy Graham, and Ted Ginn Jr. were all full participants after being limited for veteran’s rest earlier in the week. Special teams stalwart, Sherrick McManis (hamstring), was also full-go.
Here’s how the Panthers shape up with their final injury report:
CB Eli Apple (hamstring)
DT Zach Kerr (toe)
WR Curtis Samuel (knee)
CB Donte Jackson (toe)
And DE Brian Burns (concussion) will play, per head coach Matt Rhule.