The Chicago Bears face long odds going into Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. They haven’t beaten their division rivals since 2018 and now their roster is riddled with injuries. Rookie defensive backs Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon are both out for the second straight week with concussions. Eddie Jackson is done for the year with a foot injury. Darnell Mooney is also done with an ankle problem. The only good news they have is Justin Fields returning from his shoulder injury. That may not be enough to mask all the other problems.
Still, the Bears aren’t the only team coming into the game with health problems. Green Bay’s defense already lost two key starters in Rashan Gary and Eric Stokes to knee injuries. Aaron Rodgers has a broken thumb and now rib issues from last week against Philadelphia. Their problem only got worse when left tackle David Bakhtiari was forced to undergo an emergency appendectomy on Friday. That means the former All-Pro is out for Sunday, opening a big hole is the Packers’ pass protection.
The Chicago Bears have little to lose at this point.
Their season is pretty much over at 3-9. Making the playoffs is out of the question. Everybody knows they’re rebuilding anyway. So there is no reason to hold back anything, especially against the Packers who are desperately trying to stay alive in the post-season picture at 4-8. A loss to Chicago would all but destroy their season. What would make it even sweeter is everybody in Green Bay already assumes it’ll be an easy win. They already beat the Bears 27-10 back in September. They’ve been in this team’s heads for years.
This time around could be different. Chicago reshaped their offense around Fields’ running ability. Since then they’ve had the #1 rushing attack in the NFL. By contrast, Green Bay has the 31st-ranked run defense. Philadelphia ripped through them for 363 yards on the way to scoring 40 points. The Chicago Bears have the pieces necessary to employ a similar strategy. If it’s successful, they at least have a modest chance to pull off the big upset. All they’d need is for the defense not to get completely dragged through the mud for 60 minutes. A tall order, to be sure.