Bears Look Strong Coming Off The Bye Week
The Bears went into the bye week riding high with an impressive 4-1 record after their win against Jacksonville. They return to action Monday with a pivotal game against the rival Detroit Lions. And as recent history suggests, this game should feature more than a few fireworks. Here are a few storylines coming out of Halas Hall leading up to Monday Night Football:
- After a week of rest coming off his first 100 yard game of the season, Matt Forte claims he has fully recovered from the ankle injury he suffered earlier in the year. The injury may linger as the season continue, but expect Forte to begin carrying his normal workload against the Lions. The Bears need to get the running going against tough opponents.
- Offensive Coordinator Mike Tice hinted that he will include more no-huddle plays when he met with the media last week. Look for that to be included in the game plan against the Lions. The defensive line for the Lions has harassed quarterback Jay Cutler in the past, and the Bears will try to use the no-huddle to keep the Lions off balance.
- As pointed by Benjy, the Bears let go of 2008 first round draft pick Chris Williams earlier this week. The move was more about correcting previous draft mistakes than the current squad, but it does make way for Jonathan Scott to take over the backup swing tackle role. Either way, hopefully starters J'Marcus Webb and Gabe Carmini keep improving throughout the year. Both have shown highs and low-lows throughout the first part of the season.
- Devin Hester sat out practice Thursday with a quad injury, although coach Lovie Smith said it doesn't appear to be serious. This injury could have serious implications however if it lingers into Monday. The Bears are already thin at the wide receiver position because of the injury to Alshon Jeffery. Also, the Lions have been terrible on special teams, giving up a kick off and punt return for a touchdown in consecutive games against the Titans and Vikings. Many are looking for a big return from Hester considering the way the Lions have played, but an injury could dampen those plans.
The Bears are coming off the bye week well rested with a favorable schedule ahead. Their upcoming games are against teams that have all struggled through the early part of the season. After games against the Lions, Panthers and Titans, the Bears should be in good position when they face tougher opponents down the stretch. But first things first, they need to take care of business at home against a mouthy Detroit Lions team.