Bears wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, who has been the most steady receiver for the team this year, has been ruled out for Sunday’s game in Detroit. Lloyd sprained his knee in last week’s victory over the Eagles and has not practiced all week.
The Bears should be able to get by without Lloyd given their reliance on the running game and the Lions’ propensity to give up big yardage on the ground. The Lions are the worst run defense in the league, allowing a whopping 207.7 yards per game. Expect a heavy dose of Matt Forte and Kevin Jones, as Jones goes up against his former team.
If the Lions stack the box, Kyle Orton will need to make some plays through the air, meaning Devin Hester, Marty Booker, and Rashied Davis will have to step up. Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen should be focal points as usual. Rookie Earl Bennett may be activated for the first time all season.
The Bears ideally would like to avoid throwing the ball for two reasons. First, the Lions like to sling the ball down field and the Bears don’t need to get into a shootout with them. And second, starting cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher both may miss the game and that could mean trouble against Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams. The Bears would like to control the clock and keep the Lions offense off the field, in addition to keeping their own defense fresh to avoid another fourth quarter collapse, something they succumbed to last year in Detroit and already twice this year.