The Chicago Bears have watched their lone grasp over the NFC North slip away. Tied with the Green Bay Packers at 8-4 atop the division, the Monsters of the Midway will face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday minus a handful of key players.
Cornerback Tim Jennings has been ruled out because of a shoulder injury he suffered in a loss last week to the Seattle Seahawks. Bears coach Lovie Smith hasn't given a timetable for Jennings return, meaning Kelvin Hayden will fill the gap until Jennings can play again.
The Bears have additional issues at the wide receiver position, where Earl Bennett has been ruled out because of the concussion he suffered against the Seahawks. That's a rough development for the passing game, but Bennett's loss is offset by the possble return of Devin Hester and Alshon Jeffery.
Smith announced Friday that Hester (concussion) is probable, while Alshon will see snaps against the Vikings after missing time for in-season knee surgery. We expect the rookie to be eased back slowly.
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