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The Bear’s Den, December 30, 2023

Happy New Year from Denmaster Jack!

Chicago Bears Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

WE WANT YOU!

Would you like to show your Chicago Bears spirit to the world? I’m starting a feature where Windy City Gridiron readers can share pictures of themselves and their families and friends in Bears attire. Simply email a picture to me at the following address: denmasterken at aol dot com. The pictures need to be clear, and full resolution (i.e. full size from your phone if that’s how you take them). Include any description information you like along with the photo!

THE DAILY SPONGIE SPECIAL

BEARRRSSSS

Jaylon Johnson says Chicago Bears are due for a shutout - Sports Illustrated Chicago Bears - This week or next, Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson wants to see the defense pitch a shutout.

Eberflus: “Everything looks pretty good there.” Cole Kmet update for Falcons game – NBC Sports Chicago - Cole Kmet managed to practice in a limited fashion on Friday after his knee injury kept him from participating at all on Wednesday or Thursday. He’s officially questionable to play this weekend, but head coach Matt Eberflus seemed optimistic that Kmet would be able to make it on the field.

Chicago Bears injury report: Darnell Mooney ruled out - Sports Illustrated Chicago Bears - The Chicago Bears will not have wide receiver Darnell Mooney available to play against Atlanta due to a concussion but injured tight end Cole Kmet could play.

Mayer’s Injury Update: Mooney out; Kmet, Patrick questionable for Sunday - ChicagoBears.com - Bears receiver Darnell Mooney (concussion) has been ruled out of Sunday’s home game against the Falcons, while tight end Cole Kmet (knee) and center Lucas Patrick (knee) are both questionable.

Schrock: Justin Fields-Matt Eberflus relationship has been key to early stages of Bears’ rebuild – NBC Sports Chicago - No matter what happens next, Matt Eberflus and Justin Fields will always be linked together.

Shapiro: How the Bears would be eliminated from playoff contention this Sunday – NBC Sports Chicago - The Bears will be watching the Rams and Seahawks games this Sunday.

Is It Eddie Jackson’s Last Soldier Field Start for Bears? - Sports Illustrated Chicago Bears - Chicago Bears veteran safety stays focused on his final two games this season before worrying about realities of salary cap era for highly paid veterans.

Devin Hester Gets Another Chance at Hall of Fame - Sports Illustrated Chicago Bears - Famed Chicago Bears return man joins 15 finalists to be voted on for Canton along with former Bears Steve McMichael, Jared Allen and Julius Peppers.

Justin Fields too focused on the present to worry about Bears future - Bears Wire USA Today - Justin Fields could be playing his final home game with the Bears this Sunday.

Big Guys in a Benz: DeMarcus Walker - ChicagoBears.com - Bears defensive end Demarcus Walker and Anthony “Spice” Adams chat about hairstyles, middle names and which silverware best describes them in this edition of “Big Guys in a Benz.”

Finley: In my 10th year covering the Chicago Bears, they still found a new way to surprise me - Chicago Sun-Times - You see a lot covering an NFL team for a decade, but the 2023 Bears have presented a unique level of chaos.

Moreano: What will it take from the top-ranked Bears rushing defense to stop Bijan Robinson? - CHGO Sports - The Chicago Bears defense will be challenged on Sunday agains the Atlanta Falcons and their dangerous rushing attack.

Biggs: How dominant is the Chicago Bears run defense? - Chicago Tribune - There is a link between the 2023 Chicago Bears and past teams, including the division champions in 2018 and 2001 and even the Super Bowl XX champions of 1985.

Finley: Falcons RB Bijan Robinson to test Bears’ league-best run defense - Chicago Sun-Times - The Bears have the best rushing defense in the NFL. But they haven’t seen anyone like Robinson this season.

Potash: Receiver Darnell Mooney out, guard Teven Jenkins in vs. Falcons - Chicago Sun-Times - Mooney has been in the NFL’s concussion protocol since Monday. Tight end Cole Kmet (knee) and center Lucas Patrick (knee) are questionable. Jenkins has cleared the concussion protocol is expected to start.

Finley: How much credit should Matt Eberflus get for weathering Bears storm? - Chicago Sun-Times - Does a franchise that has had two head coaches, three offensive coordinators, three defensive coordinators and two presidents in the last three seasons need more change? Or has Eberflus proven his mettle by navigating the storm this year, even if it was partially one of his own making?

Rumore: How the Bears have done in New Year’s Eve games - Chicago Tribune - The Chicago Bears will play on Dec. 31 for the fourth time Sunday. They face the Atlanta Falcons at noon at Soldier Field.

Finley: How Matt Eberflus’ ‘200’ challenge helped Bears QB Justin Fields - Chicago Sun-Times - While Fields was recovering from his dislocated thumb, coach Matt Eberflus gave him a challenge. In true Eberflus form, it was wrapped in a clever gimmick.

Hoge’s Bears Things: Will this be Justin Fields’ final game at Soldier Field in a Bears uniform? - CHGO Sports - There’s a chance that Sunday’s game against the Falcons will be the final time we see Justin Fields in a Chicago Bears uniform at Soldier Field.

KNOW THINE ENEMY

Falcons-Bears Week 17 injury report: Kaleb McGary questionable to play - The Falcoholic - Taylor Heinicke, who was limited due to an ankle issue during the week, will play and start again for the Falcons Sunday.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Texans QB C.J. Stroud (concussion) off injury report, will start Sunday vs. Titans - NFL.com - Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud has no injury designation and is set to start against the visiting Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence ruled out for Week 17 game vs. Panthers - NFL.com - Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been ruled out for Sunday’s Week 17 contest versus the Carolina Panthers due to a sprained shoulder, according to the team’s Friday injury report.

Russell Wilson reveals Broncos approached him about contract during bye week - NFL.com - The Denver Broncos benching Russell Wilson surprised many this week, but not Wilson. Apparently, he’d known it might be possible since the end of October.

Broncos asked Russell Wilson to delay transformation of injury guarantee to full guarantee - NBC Sports - The specific communications between the Broncos and quarterback Russell Wilson regarding his injury guarantee have generated much interest in recent days.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Silverstein: George Allen became a Bears legend 60 years ago today - Windy City Gridiron - In book excerpt, author Mike Richman shows how the future Hall of Fame coach cooked up a master defensive gameplan in the 1963 NFL championship game.

Berckes' Best Bets: Full Weekend Slate - Windy City Gridiron - How to bet this weekend’s games

Wiltfong's Chicago Bears Reacts Survey Results: Fan confidence rises - Windy City Gridiron - Here are the results to this week’s confidence poll.

Keys to the game roundtable for Chicago Bears vs. Atlanta Falcons - Windy City Gridiron - Chicago has a chance to win their fifth straight home game. Our staff says what it’s going to take.

Bears vs Falcons Injury Report: Jenkins back, Mooney out, Kmet questionable - Windy City Gridiron - Full injury report for the Bears and Falcons game here.

Gabriel's A Scout’s Take: What goes into evaluating the quarterback position - Windy City Gridiron - Greg Gabriel takes us inside an NFL club’s process of evaluating the most important position in sports.

Wiltfong's Q&A with The Falcoholic: Falcons will be a big player for a QB in 2024 - Windy City Gridiron - We asked our sister site, The Falcoholic, five questions about their team to get us ready for gameday.

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THE RULES

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