Five Bears players appeared on the injury report Friday, including defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek, who is out for the season.
Fullback Jason McKie (quadricep) is listed as doubtful, Anthony Adams (foot) and Adewale Ogunleye (shoulder) are both listed as questionable, and Hunter Hillenemeyer (Achilles) is probable.
Bear Weather advantage: Even though there’s no such thing as “Bear weather” — a lot of teams play in cold weather — there is some validity to a “cold-weather advantage”.
Says tight end Desmond Clark: “There’s a lot to it. I’m a guy that grew up in Florida, so when it gets cold, I feel it. A team that has to practice in 75 to 80 degree weather year-round, it’s going to have an effect on them.”
Wide receiver Marty Booker, who spent four seasons in the warm weather in Miami, concurred.
“You dread coming up to a place like this and playing in the cold. It takes a mental toll on you. You think about it. Once you walk out of that locker room for warm-ups and that cold air hits you, it’s on your mind for the rest of the day.”
The Bears will get their first of three chances to take advantage of the cold weather this Sunday against Jacksonville. New Orleans will be next, and then Green Bay, although they play in cold weather, too, will come to Soldier Field for the Bears’ third straight home game.
Peterson reunion: Bears running back and special teams player Adrian Peterson will meet his brother on the field this Sunday. Adrian’s brother Mike — who is three years his senior — is a reserve linebacker and special teams player for Jacksonville.
“Growing up, we both had the same dreams of making it to the NFL,” Adrian said. “He set the standard for me as a student and as an athlete, and I just followed it. We were fortunate enough and blessed enough to both make it.”
Hesterized: Nearing the end of his second full season as a wide receiver, Devin Hester continues to look lost out on the field. Pay attention to him when he’s on the field and count how many times he has to be told where to line up or what the play called means. Don’t get confused, though, by no huddle situations where a tight end might relay the call the Hester. Still, Hester’s ability to retain information may be one of the major problems hindering his growth.
The Bears also need to start utilizing him better. One of my biggest pet peeves — and a play that rarely works — is the quick screen, or the bubble screen. It doesn’t work for three reasons. First, when Hester is on the field, defenses point him out and are extra prepared for everything he does. Second, he’s too quick and the play takes too long to develop. And third, by setting up extra receivers on his side, it adds extra bodies and a jumbled mess on that side of the field.
The first two are hard to counter, but the third one can be remedied. I’d like to see the Bears overload one side of the field and isolate Hester one-on-one on the other side of the field.
In this formation, I see one of two things happening.
The first is that Hester can burn the single coverage defender by running a double move and racing downfield past him, or they can throw him a quick screen in that formation and let him try to juke his defender without having so many bodies to run around.
The second option is that the defense double covers him and that frees up a receiver on the overloaded side of the field.
Williams Wall reprieved: Minnesota’s Pat and Kevin Williams — along with three other players — were granted a reprieve by a federal judge, who said he needed more time to consider the facts of the case and whether or not the NFL was justified in suspending six players who used a banned substance.
The move will allow the Williamses to play in this week’s game against Detroit, but if the NFL’s ruling holds up, those two will still get a four-game suspension and would then miss the team’s playoff game — if the Vikings make the postseason.
If I were the Williamses, I would submit to my punishment and hope my team gets to the playoffs so I could play then. The Vikings don’t exactly need the Williamses to beat the Lions, but they might need them against Arizona, Atlanta, and the New York Giants.
Vote for Hawaii: Pro Bowl voting is open on NFL.com. If you feel compelled to vote for some Bears, do so. Chances are, the Bears won’t have very many representatives. Matt Forte is fifth in the league in rushing and is the leading receiver among running backs, but faces stiff competition against several big name players in the NFC.
- NFL Predictions: 2015 Week 21 Picks — Super Bowl 50
- Super Bowl Odds: Analyzing the lines for 2016 season
- Bears' Zach Miller seeking big free agent contract
- Cam Newton’s race comments off base, miss the point
- Dave Wannstedt offers solution to defending Carolina Panthers
- Phil Emery joining Atlanta Falcons scouting department
- NFL Power Rankings: 2015 Week 21 -- Super Bowl 50
- Ron Rivera channeling Mike Ditka, 1985 Bears before Super Bowl
- Wide receivers coach Mike Groh leaves Bears for Rams
- Bears hire Dave Ragone as new quarterbacks coach