Chicago Bears: NFL Injury Wire

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears announced safety Chris Conte (back) and kicker Robbie Gould (right quadriceps) are out for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field.

The club also listed cornerback Tim Jennings (ankle), left guard Kyle Long (hip), and defensive tackles Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) and Will Sutton (illness) as questionable. Long and Ratliff were limited participants Friday during practice at Halas Hall.

“Kyle, his hip is a little bit sore today,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “He did some limited work. We just monitored his work today.”

Trestman called Gould “week to week,” and said the kicker “tried very hard to go last week.”

The team will hold out Gould for the third consecutive week, while Conte will miss his second straight outing after suffering the back injury in the third quarter of a Dec. 4 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Prior to that, Conte left a Thanksgiving loss to the Lions due to an eye injury, and he's missed time with sprains on both shoulders.

It’s expected that Brock Vereen will start in Conte’s place.

Brandon Marshall rests injured ankle

November, 12, 2014
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Chicago Bears rested seven players on Wednesday, including wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of Week 10’s defeat in Green Bay.

Marshall told ESPN 1000’s “Waddle and Silvy” Show on Monday that he expects to play this weekend versus the Minnesota Vikings.

The five-time Pro Bowler has battled ankle problems for much of the year.

Tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs), guard Eben Britton (illness), offensive tackle Jordan Mills (ribs), wide receiver Josh Morgan (shoulder), cornerback Tim Jennings (knee), and defensive end Cornelius Washington (illness) also missed Wednesday’s session held inside the Walter Payton Center.

Bears coach Marc Trestman listed Mills and second-year wide receiver Marquess Wilson as “day to day.”

Wilson practiced on Wednesday and is a candidate to be elevated off short-term injured reserve in Week 11, after the club released veteran wideout Santonio Holmes on Tuesday.

Meantime, linebacker Darryl Sharpton practiced on a limited basis due to a hamstring injury. Sharpton was inactive last week against the Packers.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Marc Trestman received positive news Monday during his daily meeting with head athletic trainer Chris Hanks regarding Brandon Marshall's injured left ankle, and the coach is optimistic the receiver will play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

Marshall also said during his radio show on ESPN 1000 that he’s “going to be out there” Sunday when the Bears host the Vikings at Soldier Field.

“Brandon’s got an ankle, but we’re very optimistic based on talking to the trainers today,” Trestman said.

Marshall suffered the ankle injury late in the club’s 55-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers, and it’s not the same ankle the receiver injured in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills. During “The Brandon Marshall Show” on ESPN 1000 on Monday, Marshall said his most recent ankle injury isn’t as severe as the high ankle sprain suffered against the Bills.

“It’s a different ankle. It’s not as bad as the right one,” Marshall said. “The right one was like a high ankle sprain. I don’t believe this one was a high ankle sprain. It hurts really bad, but I’m going to do what I always do; just go at it really hard and treat it really good.”
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears held out Martellus Bennett from Friday’s practice due to a rib injury, and the club officially listed the tight end as questionable on the final injury report headed into Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

“We’ll see. We really don’t know right now,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “He’s been inside getting treatment. We’re hopeful he’ll play.”

Bennett suffered the injury during practice on Wednesday when “he twisted a little bit,” according to Trestman, who called the incident “kind of awkward on the practice field.”

If Bennett isn’t able to play against the Packers, the Bears will utilize veteran Dante Rosario in the starting lineup.

“These things happen,” Trestman said. “We’ve got a lot of faith in Dante and the things that he can do. We know the value that Marty has. We’re not underestimating that at all. We’re going to do the best we can. We’re not going to make excuses.”

Bennett currently ranks second among NFL tight ends in catches (47) and second on the team. He is also second on the team in receiving yardage (563) and is tied for the team lead with five touchdown receptions.

Bennett comes off a six-catch performance against the New England Patriots.

In other injury news, the Bears officially declared left guard Matt Slauson (torn pectoral muscle) out for Sunday along with linebacker Darryl Sharpton (hamstring).

Linebackers Jon Bostic (back) and Lance Briggs (ribs) are probable, along with cornerback Kyle Fuller (hand), safety Danny McCray (knee) and right tackle Jordan Mills (foot).
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery revealed Thursday that right tackle Jordan Mills suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot, and after further evaluation the rookie underwent surgery Friday morning, according to a league source.

"I know he still has to have some further evaluation, and that's just where we're at,” Emery said when asked whether Mills would miss any of the team's upcoming offseason conditioning program.

At this point, it is expected that Mills will be able to participate when the Bears convene at Halas Hall during the third week of April to start the offseason program. A rookie fifth-round pick, Mills suffered the injury during the first quarter of Sunday's season-ending loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Interestingly, Mills didn't suffer the injury while actually playing. Mills told he hurt the foot while going from the sideline into the game and played three snaps before being declared out.

Mills started every game for the Bears in 2013, giving up just three sacks in 1,022 snaps.

Jordan Mills out with foot injury

December, 29, 2013
CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears right tackle Jordan Mills suffered a foot injury during the team’s first offensive series on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers and has been ruled out for the game.

The extent of the injury wasn’t immediately known, but the team declared Mills out shortly after he left the game.

A rookie fifth-round pick, Mills became the starter at right tackle at the beginning of the season, and has started all 15 of the club’s games. Veteran Eben Britton filled in for Mills after he suffered the injury. A five-year veteran and former second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Britton has started in 30 NFL games.

Earl Bennett out for Chicago Bears

December, 29, 2013
CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman called the likelihood of Earl Bennett's availability “questionable at best” on Friday, and the scenario played out Sunday as the team listed the receiver among its inactives for the matchup against the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North title.

Bennett missed practice all week leading into Sunday’s game, and another workout last week as he’s currently out of town dealing with a personal family issue.

Trestman plans to divvy up Bennett’s repetitions against the Packers between veteran Eric Weems and rookie Marquess Wilson. Wilson was inactive last week, and has caught only one pass this season for 3 yards. Weems, meanwhile, is mainly a special-teams contributor who has logged one reception for 8 yards.

A sixth-year veteran, Bennett is the club’s No. 3 receiver, and possesses chemistry with quarterback Jay Cutler because they played ball together in college at Vanderbilt. Bennett has caught 32 passes this season for 243 yards and four touchdowns.

Other Bears inactives included quarterback Jordan Palmer, offensive tackles Joe Long, Jonathan Scott, and James Brown as well as defensive end Cornelius Washington and receiver Chris Williams, who was recently added to the active roster.

Packers inactives included receiver Chris Harper, cornerback Jumal Rolle, linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, along with guard Lane Taylor, center/guard JC Tretter and defensive end C.J. Wilson.

With starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers returning from a broken collarbone, the Packers made all three of the quarterbacks on their roster active for the matchup against the Bears.

WR Earl Bennett could miss finale

December, 27, 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The availability of receiver Earl Bennett remains in doubt with the team prepping for the season finale Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

Bennett missed another day of practice Friday as he deals with a personal family issue, and Bears coach Marc Trestman said "it's questionable right now at best" that the receiver will play after missing an entire week of practice.

"The fact he hasn't practiced is evidence of where we're going to have to go on this," Trestman said. "We just want to leave ourselves open [to the possibility that Bennett will return]. We don't want to close the door on it yet."

The team excused Bennett on Friday of last week to tend to the personal matter, and he returned to play in Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Bennett caught two passes in that outing for 12 yards.

But when the team returned to Halas Hall to begin preparations for Green Bay, the Bears excused Bennett again.

Officially, Bennett is listed on Chicago's injury report as questionable while linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) is probable.

If Bennett is unable to play, Trestman plans to divvy up the receiver's repetitions between veteran Eric Weems and rookie Marquess Wilson. Wilson was inactive last week and has caught only one pass this season for 3 yards. Meanwhile, Weems is mainly a special teams contributor who has logged one reception for 8 yards.

"Eric and Marquess both would be in position to get more work if Earl doesn't get back," Trestman said. "They've got to know where to line up. They've got to know what to do, and we assume they are capable of doing that. We're excited for both of them to play. They've done very well at practice. We can count on them, and we think they'll do well and fit in. If Earl's not with us, we're certainly going to miss that in the locker room and on the field. But we feel very confident in those two guys."

A sixth-year veteran, Bennett is the club's No. 3 receiver. He possesses chemistry with quarterback Jay Cutler because they played ball together in college at Vanderbilt. Bennett has caught 32 passes this season for 243 yards and four touchdowns.

Bears prepared for Aaron Rodgers

December, 26, 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears cornerback Zack Bowman drew a parallel to hoops when explaining curiosity about whether Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would start Sunday when the teams meet in the regular-season finale at Soldier field.

“It’s almost like wanting to know if Michael Jordan was gonna go back in the day because, [like Jordan, Rodgers] is a difference-maker,” Bowman said.

Now that it’s a slam dunk Rogers will play, the question is whether the quarterback’s presence under center changes the approach for the Bears, who need a win in order to capture the NFC North crown and a postseason berth. Chicago’s struggling defense certainly recognizes the challenge it faces against one of the game’s top quarterbacks in Rodgers, but in terms of preparation, nothing changes.

[+] EnlargeRodgers
Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsThe Bears say news that Aaron Rodgers will be back under center for the Packers won't change their preparation for Sunday's game.
“It didn’t surprise us. If he could play he would, and we’ve prepared for that,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “That’s no disrespect to the job [backup quarterback] Matt Flynn has done. But if Aaron could play, we expected him to play. We’re prepared for that and we know that Mike [McCarthy] was going to get his team ready to play anyway with whoever was available. He’s proven he can do that year in and year out. With Aaron back, they have a feeling they’ll be at their best and we’re ready for that, excited about it.”

It wasn’t as if the Bears would prepare any less vigorously to face Rodgers than they would any other quarterback, even though several defenders in the club’s locker room on Thursday acknowledged the starter’s capabilities are more vast than those of the backup.

“It doesn’t change anything,” safety Craig Steltz said. “Matt had won games in this league and so has Aaron. You’re going to prepare hard, no matter who the quarterback is.”

Perhaps Chicago might toil even harder in readying themselves for Rodgers, given his track record against the Bears.

Rodgers has won eight of the 10 regular-season games he’s finished against Chicago, posting a passer rating of 107.7 throughout his career against the Bears, and completing 68.8 percent of his throws for 2,513 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions.

When the teams met on Nov. 4 with the Bears coming out of their bye, Rodgers completed 1-of-2 passes in Green Bay’s opening drive before suffering the collarbone injury, which has sidelined him for the past seven games. Prior to that 27-20 Chicago victory, the Bears hadn’t defeated Rodgers and the Packers since Sept. 27, 2010.

When the Bears won that game, they took advantage of an almost fluke James Jones fumble, which gave them possession on the Green Bay 46 with 2:18 left to play to get into position for Robbie Gould's winning field goal. Green Bay committed a franchise-record 18 penalties for 152 yards in that outing, including a call during Chicago’s final drive that wiped out what should have been an interception and gave the Bears possession at the Packers' 9 for Gould’s kick.

Other than that outing, Rodgers and the Packers have owned the rivalry. In the past four games he’s actually completed against the Bears, Rodgers is undefeated, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 1,091 yards, 12 TDs, two interceptions and a passer rating of 117.2.

The Bears expect Rodgers to pick up where he left off Sunday, and don’t anticipate any rust from the quarterback, who has practiced, but hasn’t played in seven weeks.

“I don’t know if he’s rusty or not. I haven’t seen him in about seven or eight weeks,” Bears cornerback Tim Jennings said. “We’ll see come Sunday, but I don’t anticipate him being rusty at all. It doesn’t matter if he’s the quarterback or not. We’ve got to go out there and execute. Everybody knows what’s at stake. Our playoffs start now.”
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs continued to take first-team repetitions in practice Thursday, but neither he nor coach Marc Trestman shed any light on the veteran's potential availability for Sunday's game at Philadelphia.

"We'll find out," Briggs said. "We'll find out soon; as soon as the doctors clear me."

Sidelined for the past eight weeks with a shoulder fracture suffered Oct. 20 at Washington, Briggs worked in a limited capacity both Wednesday and Thursday. Trestman said at this point he "can't answer" whether Briggs will be cleared on time to face the Eagles.

"I can tell you he's going to practice tomorrow again, and it looks like we're moving the right direction," Trestman said. "I stand by being optimistic. You've always got to be cautiously optimistic because you don't know what the next day is going to bring. Based on the first two days of practice, we're really hopeful he'll be able to play on Sunday night."

Given Briggs' long layoff, it's reasonable to question how much he'll be able to contribute against Philadelphia's fast-paced offense. In addition to his work Wednesday and Thursday, Briggs took repetitions a week prior in an attempt to work himself back into cardiovascular shape.

If cleared to play, Briggs sees Sunday as being a situation where he's going to "strap it on and see what happens."

"I've been playing football for a long time and it just so happens that we're going against a team that runs 80 plays a game offensively so that'll be interesting."

Can Briggs make a difference after so much time away?

"I don't know," Briggs said. "I like to think I'm a guy who's going to get in his gap and when the opportunity's there, try to make it. Hopefully I can help the team. I don't want to get out there and hurt us. But at this point right now, these last couple games, the defense has been playing better and better. We reached a lot of goals defensively this last game -- held them to 17 points, had takeaways, and held them in check rushing the ball. That's something to continue to build on."

For Briggs, the most challenging aspect of being out of the lineup is "just feeling helpless, not being able to do anything: not able to run, not able to lift, not able to do anything, just heal," he said, "Let your body heal itself and that's been kind of tough."

Even if Briggs is ready to come back and play, Trestman isn't sure how much the linebacker will be able to contribute in terms of the number of snaps. Chicago goes into Sunday's matchup ranked No. 32 against the run, while Philadelphia fields the NFL's top-ranked rushing attack (152.9 yards per game), led by running back LeSean McCoy.

"I think that if Lance has a chance to play, I think that lifts our football team," Trestman said. "How much he'll play? I don't know. But the type of player he is, whatever that might be, I think that lifts our football team to some degree on Sunday night. That can only be a good thing for our football team if he is cleared to play and he has the opportunity to play whatever amount of snaps that he's able to play."

Briggs limited, practices with first team

December, 18, 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears weakside linebacker Lance Briggs practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, but worked some with the first team as he attempts to return from a shoulder fracture that has kept him sidelined the last eight weeks.

The Bears (8-6) travel to face the Philadelphia Eagles (8-6) on Sunday night in a game that has playoff ramifications for both teams.

“It’s still day-to-day,” Trestman said of Briggs. “I’m optimistic he’ll play. How much? We’ll see how he feels. I’d be better to answer that question after Friday’s practice, maybe even going into Sunday. But he did get some work today, and I talked to him after; he said he felt pretty good, so we’ll see where he is tomorrow.

"He hasn’t played football in long time. Lance is a unique athlete. It would certainly be exciting to see him out on the field on Sunday. It would certainly be good for our football team to have him out there and have him playing. I haven’t talked to the trainers about it, I haven’t talked to the doctors about it; we’ll do what’s best for him to make sure he’s safe out there, and we’ll go from there.”

Briggs officially returned to the practice field last week for the first time since he suffered the injury on Oct. 10 in the Bears’ 45-41 loss to the Washington Redskins.

But even if Briggs is active versus the Eagles, teammate Brandon Marshall, who sat out practice on Wednesday with a sore quad, expects it will take a little time for the seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker to re-acclimate himself to live game action.

“Lance will probably have a little rust there,” Marshall said. “There will be a little transitional period, maybe in the first quarter or so. But we all know what Lance is capable of doing. He’s a monster out there.

"I wouldn’t test Lance too much (if I were the Eagles). His history says enough.”

One of the most decorated linebackers in recent Bears’ history, Briggs has recorded 75 tackles this season along with two sacks, two forced fumbles and nine tackles for loss. Without Briggs on the field for the last seven games, the Bears have suffered on defense. Entering Sunday night, the Bears rank No. 27 in total defense, No. 28 in points allowed and No. 32 in rushing defense.

“Lance is moving around well,” Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “He’s got good pep in his step. He’s excited to be back out there working with the guys. He’s just very experienced and steps right in and knows what to do. He plays fast. It’s good to have him back out there working a little bit.

"He’s a good player. The more good players you have playing, the better chance you have. We’ll see. We’ll take it day-to-day and see how it goes. He had a good day today and we’ll keep going.”

Briggs declined to speak with reporters as he exited the practice field but said he will address the media following Thursday’s workout.

Chicago Bears announce inactives

December, 15, 2013
CLEVELAND -- The Chicago Bears announced their list of inactives for Sunday’s game at Cleveland with no surprises as linebacker Lance Briggs was ruled out earlier in the week due to a fracture in his left shoulder.

Bears inactives included quarterback Jordan Palmer, safety Sean Cattouse, defensive tackle Christian Tupou, offensive lineman James Brown, offensive tackle Jonathan Scott and defensive end Cornelius Washington.

The Browns listed running back Willis McGahee among their inactives due to a concussion suffered last week against the New England Patriots. Chris Ogbonnaya fills in for McGahee, and the lineup change might help Chicago’s struggling rush defense, which currently ranks last in the NFL, surrendering 157 yards per game.

Other Browns inactives included quarterback Alex Tanney, offensive linemen Martin Wallace and Reid Fragel, in addition to tight ends Keavon Milton and Andre Smith.

Bears coach Marc Trestman expressed optimism about the prospect of Briggs returning to the starting lineup for the club’s Dec. 22 matchup at Philadelphia. Briggs hasn’t played in eight weeks since suffering the shoulder injury Oct. 20 at Washington. The original timetable for recovery was four to six weeks, and while Briggs hasn’t suffered any setbacks, the bone simply hasn’t healed as fast as the doctors expected.

Briggs targeting Dec. 22 return date

December, 13, 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill -- The Chicago Bears have ruled out weakside linebacker Lance Briggs (fractured shoulder) for Sunday, but coach Marc Trestman believes the seven-time Pro Bowler is on the mend and could return Dec. 22 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

Briggs will miss his seventh straight game when the team travels to face the Cleveland Browns, but he practiced this week for the first time since fracturing his shoulder in the Bears’ loss to the Washington Redskins on Oct. 20.

Briggs was officially listed as limited on Thursday and Friday.

“I’d be much more optimistic next week that he [could return],” Trestman said. “He got more work today, and we’ll see how he is doing at the start of next week. But it raises our optimism, certainly.”

Bears safety Major Wright said Friday that the defense is eager to welcome back Briggs. The Bears rank No. 27 in total defense and No. 32 in rushing defense. Briggs recorded 75 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and nine tackles for loss before the injury.

“It’s always fun having Lance around,” Wright said. “We enjoy his leadership and his demeanor. It’s great having him back out there with us running around. We definitely have to get it going and Lance can definitely help a lot.”

Trestman: Briggs' outlook 'not optimistic'

December, 11, 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman is “not optimistic” that seven-time Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Lance Briggs will return from a fractured shoulder to play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

This would mark the seventh straight game Briggs has missed since he hurt the shoulder Oct. 20 in Washington.

“Lance is still week-to-week,” Trestman said. “We’ll see where he is tomorrow with our trainers and see what they want to do with him.

"I’m not optimistic. We’ll know a little more today and tomorrow. He did some running last week. Will that be upgraded to limited work in practice? We won’t be in pads tomorrow. We’ll be in shells. He was not in shells last week. We’ll see what the trainers want to do and what he wants to do tomorrow.”

When asked what is preventing Briggs from returning to the field, Trestman responded, “the healing of the bone.”

Prior to 2013, Briggs had been a model of durability for the Bears, sitting out just four games due to injury in 10 NFL seasons. The defense has clearly suffered without Briggs, ranking No. 27 in total defense (381.5), No. 28 in points allowed (27.7) and No. 32 in run defense (157.0) going into Sunday’s road game in Cleveland.

“Where Lance is right now is kind of to be determined,” Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “I’m not quite certain at this point. But the focus is on the guys that are available. The guys that can help us right now.”

The Bears have started rookie fourth-round pick Khaseem Greene in place of Briggs the past six games, but while Tucker and the organization are high on the club’s younger linebackers, asking first-year players to fill the void left by Briggs is virtually impossible.

“Lance is a playmaker in the run game and the passing game,” Tucker said. “It’s not just the intangibles that he brings in terms of leadership and experience and things like that, in confidence. But he can actually make plays. He can win one-on-one. He can get off blocks. He can run sideline to sideline. He can win one-on-one on running backs on blitzes and things like that. He’s an excellent blitzer. In the pass game he’s quick, very instinctive. He’s quick to diagnose and because of ... his experience, there’s not a whole lot of plays he hasn’t seen at some point in time, so he’s quick to recognize those things.

Those are just some of the things he brings to the table.”

Bears release list of inactives

December, 9, 2013
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears announced their list of inactives for Monday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, and as expected the team will be without quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs.

Other Bears inactives included safety Sean Cattouse, defensive tackle Christian Tupou, offensie lineman James Brown, offensive tackle Jonathan Scott and rookie defensive end Cornelius Bennett.

The timetable for return for Cutler and Briggs remains uncertain. Cutler returned to the practice field last week, and took part in workouts on Thursday and Friday before the club held him out of Saturday’s session to rest him. Bears coach Marc Trestman said the quarterback didn’t suffer a setback that led to the club holding him out.

But Trestman also declined to give a definitive timeline for Cutler’s return. Cutler has missed the team’s last three games due to a high ankle sprain, while Briggs has missed five consecutive contests because of a fracture in his left shoulder. Trestman said that Cutler will be evaluated prior to Monday night’s game by team doctors, but the team won’t make a decision on how to proceed with the quarterback until Tuesday.

Briggs, meanwhile, was originally expected to miss four-to-six weeks with his injury. But the matchup against the Cowboys will mark the seventh week Briggs has been out of action.