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The Bear’s Den, January 2, 2021

The biggest game of the season is coming up this week, the question is are the Bears ready?

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Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

THE DAILY SPONGIE SPECIAL

BEARRRSSSS

Playoff implications for the Bears’ top decision-makers – The Athletic - For Chuck Pagano, Matt Nagy, Ryan Pace and Ted Phillips, Sunday’s Bears-Packers game could mean a lot.

Bears’ Jimmy Graham an NFL free agency success with impact on, off field - RSN - Jimmy Graham’s impact on the field (eight touchdowns) and off the field (mentoring Cole Kmet) has made him a valuable free agent addition - even if few expected he would be back in March.

Bears vs. Packers: Jaylon Johnson, David Bakhtiari injuries loom large - RSN - The Bears will be without cornerback Jaylon Johnson on Sunday against the Packers - but Green Bay will have to deal with a major absence as well.

Chicago Bears Rule Out Jaylon Johnson, Buster Skrine - Sports Illustrated - Rookie cornerback Kindle Vildor and second-year slot cornerback Duke Shelley are sure to receive plenty of attention from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers Sunday at Soldier Field when the Chicago Bears try to earn their way into the NFC wild-card playoffs.

Gauging David Bakhtiari’s Absence on Chicago Bears Chances - Sports Illustrated - The Chicago Bears on Sunday won’t be facing Green Bay Packers tackle David Bakhtiari due to a season-ending knee injury suffered in practice so depth will be a big issue.

Injury Update: CBs Jaylon Johnson, Buster Skrine out for Chicago Bears Week 17 game vs. Green Bay Packers - ChcagoBears.com - Bears starting cornerback Jaylon Johnson and nickel back Buster Skrine have been ruled out of Sunday’s crucial regular-season finale against the Packers due to injuries.

Chicago Bears RB David Montgomery stepping up as leader on offense - ChcagoBears.com - Running backs coach Charles London discusses David Montgomery’s development.

The Pick Is In: Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers | 2020 Week 17 game - ChcagoBears.com - Local and national NFL analysts make their pick for the Week 17 game between the Bears and Packers Sunday at Soldier Field. Keep track of their weekly record here on ChicagoBears.com.

670 Staff Predictions: Bears-Packers - 670 The Score - The Bears (8-7) host the Packers (12-3) on Sunday afternoon in a game that carries big playoff implications. Kickoff set for 3:25 p.m. from Soldier Field.

Bears rule out Jaylon Johnson, Buster Skrine against Packers - 670 The Score - The Bears have ruled out cornerback Jaylon Johnson (shoulder) and nickelback Buster Skrine (concussion) against the Packers on Sunday. It will be Johnson’s third straight missed game.

Bears notebook: Backup CBs Kindle Vildor, Duke Shelley likely in lineup vs. Packers - Chicago Sun-Times - The Bears will again go without first-string cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson and Buster Skrine. That could be problematic against Aaron Rodgers. That and more in this news roundup.

Bears’ Akiem Hicks gets his shot at the Packers - Chicago Sun-Times - The biggest reason the Bears think they’ll be able to slow the Packers offense this time around stands 6-4 and weighs 347 pounds.

Underdog Mitch Trubisky faces all-time great Aaron Rodgers in Bears-Packers - Chicago Sun-Times - Everything is stacked against Trubisky: history, pressure and a dominant counterpart in Rodgers. If he can handle all that, maybe he’s better than we thought.

Column: Chicago sports figures who died in 2020 left mark - Chicago Tribune - In our particular corner of the sports world, we lost one of the greatest Chicago Bears of all-time, a Bulls star who epitomized the word “hustle,” a legendary White Sox broadcaster and a beloved member of the 1969 Cubs.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Alvin Kamara confirmed positive for COVID-19 - ProFootballTalk - Saints running back Alvin Kamara will miss Sunday’s regular-season finale and may miss time in the postseason as well after testing positive for COVID-19.

Uptick in COVID-19 infections will test the NFL in Week 17 - ProFootballTalk - The Browns have seen a sharp increase in players placed on the COVID-19 reserve list. But the infections aren’t happening in the facility.

Zach Wilson declares for 2021 NFL draft - ProFootballTalk - Brigham Young quarterback Zach Wilson has declared for the 2021 NFL draft. His decision to forgo his college eligibility is not a surprise.

KNOW THINE ENEMY

Frank Ragnow on throat injury, time missed: Focus was on preserving voice ‘for the rest of my life’ - NFL.com - Detroit Lions offensive lineman’s throat injury had him focused on preserving his voice

Lions injury report: Matthew Stafford questionable, Kenny Golladay out vs. Vikings - Pride Of Detroit - Stafford is officially listed as limited, but expect him to play vs. the Vikings.

Evaluating Gary Kubiak - Daily Norseman - Continuing on from my evaluations of Rick Speilman and Mike Zimmer, let’s focus now on Vikings’ offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.

Packers rule Bakhtiari & Keke out against Bears, Chicago down two of top three CBs - Acme Packing Company - Budding rookie star Jaylon Johnson is out for the Bears on Sunday, which should open up some room for the Packers’ passing game.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Householder & Berckes: Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers, betting spread, total, survivor picks - Windy City Gridiron - Of all the teams to need to beat to get into the playoffs and its this one? Really?

Wiltfong: Bears vs Packers Injury Report - Chicago rules out 2 starting DBs - Windy City Gridiron - Here’s the final and full injury report for the Bears and Packers before they face off this Sunday.

Wiltfong: Bears vs Packers - Keys for a Chicago win - Windy City Gridiron - The WCG crew runs down what they think needs to happen for the Bears to pull off the upset.

Snider & Berckes' Bears Over Beers: Showdown with the Packers - Windy City Gridiron - If the Bears win, they’re in. It’s go time.

Zeglinski: Windy City Gridiron picks Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers - Windy City Gridiron - Barring a helping hand, it’s all or nothing for the Bears against their long-time rivals. The playoffs start now.

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. No personal attacks, politics, gender based insults of any kind, racial insults, etc.

Windy City Gridiron Podcast Channel which includes Bear With Me from Robert Schmitz, Bears Over Beers featuring Jeff Berckes & EJ Snyder, Bears Banter hosted by Bill Zimmerman, and T Formation Conversation from Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.; EJ also co-hosts The Bootleg Football Podcast with Brett Kollmann; R. Schmitz has a film breakdown show on YouTube titled Run Pass Opinion; and Steven’s Streaming Twitch Channel from Steven Schweickert.

Click on our names to follow us on Twitter: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Jack R Salo; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Schmitz; Robert Zeglinski; Bill Zimmerman; Like us on Facebook.