The Chicago Bears have had one of the NFL’s top defenses this season, and they will potentially be even better this week as they get back arguably their most important player.
The Bears, who have been operating without defensive end Khalil Mack for the last two weeks, will get him back on Sunday as they take on the Detroit Lions, and the timing could not be better, as Chicago will embark on three straight divisional games.
While adding Mack back into the mix will definitely help a pass rush that has struggled in recent games, an injury on the Lions’ offensive line could also prove to be a big deal, as right guard T.J. Lang will miss Sunday’s game.
Mack and defensive end Akiem Hicks should be able to attack that side of the line effectively, and if they can put pressure on Matthew Stafford, it could be a rough game for Detroit’s passing game.
Stafford does have some good weapons to throw to, and the one to keep an eye on for the Bears is Kenny Golladay. The wide receiver has turned heads all year long, and Kyle Fuller will likely draw the assignment of trying to keep him in check.
On the Lions’ side of things, their defense is dealing with some injury concerns, as cornerback Darius Slay and linebacker Eli Harold are both going to miss Sunday’s game. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah and linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin are listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, and with all of those absences, the Lions could have a tough time shutting down the Bears.
The Lions will need their secondary to step up in a big way, and the spotlight will be firmly on Nevin Lawson and Quandre Diggs to try to slow down Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson. Former Bears corner Cre’von LeBlanc could also figure into head coach Matt Patricia’s plans, giving Detroit one more secondary look to try out.