The Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears game this Sunday will have a preseason feel for most of us Bears fans, but Vikings fans are still clinging on to some hope to better their seed in the NFC postseason. The 49ers don't play until late afternoon, so Minnesota will need to take care of their business to put the pressure on San Francisco. A Vikings win, and a San Fran loss means Minnesota snags the two seed and the possibility of an extra home playoff game.
Minnesota may not even be favored in their postseason home opener, but that's next week's problem.
The Bears, however, know where their season is headed, and that's to some player exit interviews next week. Draft order is the only intrigue on Chicago's side of things, but with the number of players Chicago has sidelined, a loss seems like a foregone conclusion.
Here's the Bears' injury report for the season finale.
- Justin Fields, QB (Hip) Out
- Jaylon Jones, CB (Concussion) - Out
- Sterling Weatherford, LB (Illness) - Out
- Angelo Blackson, DT (Illness) - Questionable
- Kyler Gordon, CB (Groin/illness) - Questionable
- Terrell Lewis, LB (Personal) - Questionable
Nathan Peterman has been in line to start all week at quarterback, with Fields ruled out.
The Bears put o-linemen Teven Jenkins and Michael Schofield III, and corner Josh Blackwell on injured reserve this week.
Update: Illness was added to Gordon’s status on Saturday.
Here's how the Vikings list their injured players for week 18.
- Garrett Bradbury, C (Back) - Out
- James Lynch, NT (Shoulder) - Out
- Harrison Smith, S (Knee) - Out
- Brian Asamoah, LB (Knee) - Questionable
- Za'Darius Smith, OLB (Personal) - Questionable
- Cameron Dantzler, CB (Ankle) - Questionable
The Vikes also put starting right tackle Brian O'Neill on injured reserve this week, and center/guard Austin Schlottmann, who had been starting the last few games at guard, went on IR as well.
Bradbury starts at center for the Vikes, so Chicago's d-line may be able to do something.
Update: Smith was a scratched on Saturday after having some knee soreness.
While the Vikings are starting the game with their first string, they may not stay that way all sixty minutes.
Sounds like the Vikings are sticking with their plans to open Sunday’s game with their regular starters, but Kevin O’Connell indicated there is a plan to potentially rotate them out to protect health and get reps for others.— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) January 6, 2023