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The Bear’s Den, January 8, 2021

Alvin Kamara looks like he will be in, but will Roquan Smith be there to meet him?

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NFL: OCT 20 Saints at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

THE DAILY SPONGIE SPECIAL

BEARRRSSSS

Bears’ Roquan Smith, Darnell Mooney sidelined from practice - 670 The Score - The Bears on Thursday worked without star linebacker Roquan Smith and rookie receiver Darnell Mooney for a second straight day, and their availability remains in question for Chicago’s game at New Orleans on Sunday in the wild-card round.

Report: Saints ‘hopeful’ Alvin Kamara can play against Bears - 670 The Score - The Saints are “still hopeful” that star running back Alvin Kamara can play against the Bears on Sunday in their wild-card round game, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Thursday. Karama is in the NFL’s protocols after testing positive for COVID-19.

Champ Kelly a candidate for Panthers, Broncos GM openings - 670 The Score - Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly has emerged as a candidate for two general manager vacancies. He interviewed with the Panthers on Thursday and will soon meet with the Broncos as well.

Cairo Santos named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month - 670 The Score - Bears kicker Cairo Santos was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for December/January after he was a perfect 12-of-12 on field-goal attempts in five games in that span.

Can Mitch Trubisky lead the Bears to a playoff win? – The Athletic - Can Mitch Trubisky lead the Bears to a playoff win against the Saints?

2021 NFL Playoffs picks: Wild card, divisional, championship rounds, Super Bowl - RSN - The Bears made the playoffs for only the sixth time in the last 25 years. How far will they go? NBC Sports Chicago's team of Bears experts makes their picks for each round of the playoffs, from the wild card rounds to Super Bowl LV.

How Allen Robinson can help Bears, and himself in NFL free agency, vs. Saints - RSN - Allen Robinson's best game with the Bears came in his last - and only - playoff appearance. Can he have another monster game on Sunday against the Saints?

Bears among favorites to trade for Carson Wentz, per oddsmakers - RSN - While the Bears aren't the outright favorites, they have the second-shortest odds.

WR Allen Robinson II remains key cog in Chicago Bears offense - ChicagoBears.com - It’s no secret that the Bears hope to get No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson II more involved in their offense in Sunday’s Super Wild Card game in New Orleans than he was in the regular-season finale.

Chicago Bears OLB Khalil Mack looking forward to 'good challenge' from New Orleans Saints in Wild Card playoff game - ChicagoBears.com - Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack sees Sunday's Super Wild Card game against the New Orleans Saints as a chance to reset expectations in Chicago.

Chalk Talk: Will there be fans at Mercedes-Benz Superdome for Chicago Bears-New Orleans Saints Wild Card playoff game? - ChicagoBears.com - Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses whether fans will be permitted to attend Sunday’s playoff game in New Orleans, the opening kickoff against the Packers and the status of Saints star Alvin Kamara for the wild card contest.

Chicago Bears LT Charles Leno Jr. presented with NFLPA's Week 16 Community MVP Award - ChicagoBears.com - The charitable efforts of Charles Leno Jr. led to the NFLPA present the Bears tackle with the Week 16 Community MVP Award.

Bears at Saints Wildcard Weekend Preview: When Bears Have the Ball - Da Bears Blog - Last year, it was Mitch Trubisky’s performance against the New Orleans Saints that soured many – including me – on his prospects as the future quarterback of the Chicago Bears. Now he meets them again, this time in the postseason, this time with his career potentially on the line. Will the results look any different?

Bears will get a look at standard Ryan Pace hoped to build - 670 The Score - When the Bears hired general manager Ryan Pace in 2015, they hoped to replicate the success of the New Orleans Saints in Chicago. Now six years into Pace’s tenure, a playoff matchup between the franchises will offer perspective on where they stand.

NFL Wild Card Preview: Saints look to duplicate rushing success against Bears run defense - Canal Street Chronicles - Alvin Kamara is eligible to return Sunday, so expect to see a lot of him against the Bears defense

Bears’ Roquan Smith, Darnell Mooney remain out - Chicago Sun-Times - Both missed practice for the second-straight day Thursday.

Chuck Pagano: Saints RB Alvin Kamara is ‘Public Enemy No. 1’ - Chicago Sun-Times - The Saints’ star running back, who is on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list but could return for Sunday’s playoff game, participated in practice remotely using a live video feed through which he can hear coach Sean Payton, according to ESPN.

Bears-Saints playoff podcast: Can the Bears steal a win? - Chicago Sun-Times - It’s here. The Bears postseason episode no one expected.

Bears ‘know everybody is overlooking us’ vs. Saints - Chicago Sun-Times - The Bears are the NFL’s biggest underdog this weekend. They can feel it.

Bears TE Jimmy Graham still has something left as he faces former team in playoffs - Chicago Sun-Times - Is he still the All-Pro dynamo from his days with the Saints? No. But Graham is an upgrade over what the Bears had last season and has proved to be a good signing.

Bears predictions: wild card playoff game vs. Saints - Chicago Sun-Times - The Sun-Times’ experts offer their picks for the Bears’ wild-card playoff game Sunday against the Saints:

Matt Nagy: Chicago Bears coach looking for 1st playoff win - Chicago Tribune - Examining what to believe in from Matt Nagy’s second straight .500 season as Chicago Bears coach is a complicated task given the highs and lows of a most unusual year.

Cairo Santos: Chicago Bears kicker the NFC special teams player of month - Chicago Tribune - Chicago Bears kicker Cairo Santos capped off the best regular season of his career by being named the NFC’s special teams player of the month for December as he made all 12 field goal attempts from Weeks 13-17.

All-NFC North defense: Ranking players at each position – The Athletic - From Za’Darius Smith to Roquan Smith, a look at the top defensive players at every position in the NFC North.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Report: Deshaun Watson "extremely unhappy" with Texans - ProFootballTalk - A little over an hour after a report surfaced that the Texans were hiring Nick Caserio as General Manager on Tuesday, Deshaun Watson tweeted — and later deleted — what seemed his displeasure with the choice.

Report: Texans won't trade Deshaun Watson, if he asks for it - ProFootballTalk - “Under no circumstances will the Texans trade Watson,” writes John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, adding that, even if Watson asks for a trade, “he’s not going anywhere.”

KNOW THINE ENEMY

Saints vs Bears Thursday injury report: Trey Hendrickson doesn’t practice - Canal Street Chronicles - Not to concerned about today.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Bears vs Saints: Keys for a Chicago victory - Windy City Gridiron - The WCG staff gives their keys for the Bears to open up a postseason edition of Club Dub.

Canal Street Chronicles: The Last Hurrah of Drew Brees Starts Sunday - Windy City Gridiron - Chris Dunnells of Canal Street Chronicles stops by to answer our questions

NFL Playoffs Wild Card Game Preview: Chicago Bears-New Orleans Saints - Windy City Gridiron - For the second time in three years the Bears get a crack at postseason football, but the opponent is quite formidable.

Cairo Santos is the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears get some year end accolades!

Bears Over Beers with Robert Mays: The Treadmill of Mediocrity - Windy City Gridiron - Robert Mays joins the show and talks about how the Bears can get off the treadmill of mediocrity

THE RULES

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