Bears injury report: Many starters questionable for Packers game

Bears injury report: Many starters questionable for Packers game originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears will be without one starter and could be without several more when they take on the Packers to close out the 2023 regular season. Darnell Mooney has been ruled out due to the concussion he suffered over the course of the team’s Week 16 win against the Cardinals. Meanwhile standout cornerback Jaylon Johnson is doubtful to play because of the shoulder injury he sustained in last week’s win over the Falcons. Beyond that a whole host of other starters are questionable to play this Sunday.

With Mooney sidelined last week Tyler Scott, Equanimeous St. Brown and Trent Taylor each saw more playing time. The team also promoted Collin Johnson from the practice squad, and Johnson caught one pass for 11 yards.

Mooney may have played his last game in a Bears uniform. He’s set to become a free agent this offseason and failed to ascend as a playmaking No. 2 wide receiver in this offense. Mooney appeared to be an ascending player when he caught 81 balls for 1,055 yards and four touchdowns in 2021. But in the two seasons since the Bears moved from Matt Nagy to Luke Getsy, Mooney has only been able to muster 71 catches for 901 yards and three touchdowns.

If Johnson can’t play, rookies Tyrique Stevenson and Terell Smith would start at outside corner against the Packers. Each player has impressed at times over their rookie campaigns, and Stevenson is coming off of a career-best performance in Week 17. He intercepted two passes and was credited with two more PBUs. For his efforts, Stevenson was recognized with an NFC Defensive Player of the Week award.

Kyler Gordon popped up on the injury report on Friday due to a calf injury he suffered on Thursday. Josh Blackwell would take Gordon’s place as the team’s slot corner if Gordon doesn’t recover in time. Cole Kmet is still dealing with the knee injury that limited him to just 13 snaps last week. On Wednesday, head coach Matt Eberflus said things were trending in the right direction for Kmet to be able to play.

Starting running back Khalil Herbert is trending in the wrong direction to play, however. He was limited on Thursday with a back injury, then did not participate on Friday for personal reasons. If he can’t go on Sunday, D’Onta Foreman and Roschon Johnson figure to split carries out of the backfield.

Center Lucas Patrick (calf) and long snapper Patrick Scales are each questionable, as well. If Patrick can’t play, that would open the door for either Dan Feeney or Cody Whitehair to play at center against the Packers. Earlier this week Bears signed journeyman longsnapper Matt Overton in case Scales can’t play.

Star wide receiver DJ Moore was on the injury report earlier this week with an ankle injury, but he practiced in full on Friday and is ready to go for the season finale. Tyson Bagent also appeared on the injury report earlier this week with an illness, and he is healthy now too.

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