Tim Jennings won't play vs. Vikings

Updated: December 8, 2012, 12:05 AM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears ruled cornerback Tim Jennings (shoulder) out, but wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Devin Hester are expected to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Jeffery (knee), Hester (concussion) and right guard Gabe Carimi (hamstring) are probable.

Hester missed Sunday's game against the Seahawks after suffering a concussion against the Vikings on Nov. 25.

"I don't really want to get into all the details, but I know I got better," Hester said Friday. "I got cleared so I'm ready to go."

Running back Michael Bush (ribs) returned to practice on Friday and is listed as questionable, along with offensive guard Chris Spencer (knee) and defensive tackle Stephen Paea (foot).

Replacing Jennings at cornerback in the Bears' starting lineup is expected to be veteran Kelvin Hayden, who started 46 games for the Indianapolis Colts from 2006-10 and made one start last season with the Atlanta Falcons. Reserve cornerback Zack Bowman could also factor into the Bears' defensive game plan.

"Kelvin has played a lot of ball; this isn't his first time starting or anything like that," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "We have good depth, even with Zack Bowman also. Over the course of the year you have to plan on playing without players for a brief period of time. We thought we were going to get lucky as late as it was in the year, but that's not the case. Tim will eventually be back, but in the meantime yes, Kelvin will step up and Zack Bowman."

Jennings will re-evaluate his injured shoulder next week and is not expected to miss significant time.

With Hayden assuming a larger role in the Bears' base defense, defensive back D.J. Moore is expected to be activated to play the nickel spot. Moore lost his job to Hayden earlier in the year and has been a healthy inactive in two of the last three games.

Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring) and wide receiver Earl Bennett (concussion) were ruled out earlier in the week.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.