The seventh seeded Chicago Bears can’t afford to head into their match-up with the two seed New Orleans Saints short-handed, and so far they only have one starter listed as out for Sunday in nickelback Buster Skrine.
There are several key players listed as questionable however, and if these guys can’t go the Bears will need to scheme around their absences. Starting inside linebacker Roquan Smith, who was just named a 2nd-Team All-Pro, hasn’t practiced all week with that elbow injury he suffered week 17, but he’s not the only inside backer that’s questionable, because his back-up, Josh Woods, was limited at practice the last two days with a toe and glute injury.
Also questionable for Chicago is starting wide out Darnell Mooney, and he hasn’t practiced this entire week while resting the ankle injury from their last game.
EDIT: Both Smith and Mooney were downgraded to out.
The Bears did get some good news on the injury front this week with starting corner Jaylon Johnson being limited each day with his shoulder injury, although he is also listed as questionable.
Saints defensive lineman Trey Hendrickson, who was second in the league with 13.5 sacks this season, has been ruled out with a neck injury. Reserve offensive lineman Nick Easton has also been ruled out.
New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara, who is on their Reserve/COVID-19 list, has indicated that he intends to play on Sunday. Defensive back D.J. Swearinger is also on that reserve list. The Saints have until Saturday afternoon to activate them for the game if they’re able to.
Wide out Michael Thomas is still on injured reserve, but he has been practicing, so if he’s activated by Saturday he could play against the Bears.
EDIT: Both Kamara and Thomas have been activated.