The Chicago Bears defense has suffered an innumerable amount of significant injuries this season, with the losses of veteran stars Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman being the two biggest injuries. But the fact that the Bears haven’t had a healthy interior defensive line at any point this season has hurt their run defense even more than their linebackers. Facing the Bears defense has usually meant that good things are going to happen for a team’s running game, as Ray Rice absolutely blew up when the Baltimore Ravens faced the Bears.
Every win counts at this point of the season for teams like the Bears who are fighting for a playoff seed, and any weakness has to be shored up. The Minnesota Vikings are in a great deal of dysfunction right now, but they present one huge matchup problem for the Bears with Adrian Peterson.
That weakness, though, won’t be nearly as pronounced as it would have been last week, because it looks like Jay Ratliff and Stephen Paea are going to play today. Both DTs practiced fully on Friday, which definitely boded well for their Week 13 status. They were always expected to make their return to the Bears lineup today, and it sounds like we should be very surprised if neither of them are able to play. The NFL Network’s Stacey Dales reports that both Ratliff and Paea are expected to play today, which is solid confirmation for sure. Peterson should still have a good Sunday, but the Bears defense has a better chance of not getting ravaged by AP this week.