Pack takes on desperate Bears' club tonightWisconsin Sports
- It’s a Sunday night football game that is much bigger for the Chicago Bears than Green Bay. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. at Lambeau Field.
GREEN BAY - It’s a Sunday night football game that is much bigger for the Chicago Bears than Green Bay.
The Bears have lost four in a row and need two wins to even have an outside shot at the playoffs. After a five-game winning streak earlier, the Bears have fallen to 7-7 and have to go with Josh McCown at quarterback. The struggles of backup QB Caleb Hanie forces coach Lovie Smith’s hand. McCown was an assistant high school football coach until the Bears came calling just before Thanksgiving. He played last Sunday, his first NFL action in two years, replacing Hanie after the starter had thrown three interceptions.
Green Bay has clinched a playoff spot and isn’t working on a perfect season any more after last week’s stunning 19-14 loss to Kansas City.
Green Bay Packers’ defensive end Ryan Pickett will miss his second straight game with a concussion. Pickett has been ruled out of Sunday night’s contest against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Coach Mike McCarthy said he has to be cautious with Pickett – and he hopes Mike Neal can start in his place. But Neal is questionable for the Bears’ game with a bad shoulder – and that means there’s a 50-50 chance he’ll play. Meanwhile, veteran tackle Chad Clifton is declared out with his back and hamstring injuries. He returned to practice on a limited basis this week, after being out since early October. As expected, tackle Bryan Bulaga and receiver Greg Jennings are both out with knee injuries. McCarthy said it would be a challenge for Jennings to return for next week’s regular season finale against Detroit – but the coach said Jennings would definitely ready for the playoffs the weekend of January 14th. Linebacker Desmond Bishop is probable for Christmas Night, after getting over a calf injury. Running backs Brandon Saine and James Starks are both probable, along with nose tackle Howard Green. Green suffered a foot injury at practice this week.
The troubles keep mounting for the Chicago Bears. They take on an angry Green Bay Packer team looking to bounce back from its first loss, and they have to do it without running back Marion Barber and return man Devin Hester. Coach Lovie Smith says both players sat out practice this week. Kahlil Bell will likely start in Barber’s place as the Bears try to snap that four-game losing streak.
The Green Bay Packers say they’ll be ready if the Chicago Bears try another trick punt return on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. In Week-Three, Bears’ returner Devin Hester faked a catch of Tim Masthay’s punt – and Johnny Knox had a wide-open field. He would have scored an 89-yard touchdown had Bears’ teammate Corey Graham not been called for holding. Packers’ linebacker D.J. Smith said he felt embarrassed after the play – and he should have done a better job of recognizing where the ball went. The Packers were leading the Bears by 10 at that point with 2:20 left in the game. Special teams’ player Tom Crabtree says his coverage unit will be ready for anything on Sunday night, when the 13-1 Packers host 7-7 Chicago.