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Bears injury report: Breaking down their short-handed defense

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The Chicago Bears final injury report includes some notable players on the defensive side of the ball. We take a look at that unit with the help of Windy City Gridiron.

The Chicago Bears released their Week 13 final injury report, and they face a lot of injury issues. We know Jay Cutler and Danny Trevathan are done for the year, but on the defensive side of the ball, the Bears face growing issues.

Willie Young was a late add to the report, having missed Friday’s practice after not appeared on the injury report Wednesday or Thursday. He has a knee issue, and is listed as questionable. He joins fellow outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (concussion) as questionable.

With all the injuries, the 49ers offense could be in position to put up some decent numbers in this game. I took a few minutes to chat with Jeff Berckes of Windy City Gridiron. The Bears defense is short-handed, so I asked him what this all meant for the unit. Here’s what Jeff had to say. That is followed by the Bears final injury report:

Unfortunately in football, what looks good on paper doesn't always convert to success in-season. In the few contests where Freeman and Trevathan were healthy and playing together, they looked great. With both missing time, we're back to replacement level talent at the ILB position. The middle of the defense will be manned by a combination of rookie 4th rounder Nick Kwiatkoski (a perfect Chicago name) and 2nd year man John Timu with Christian Jones and Jonathan Anderson likely to see some snaps. All of those players have recorded starts in the last two years so there's no real novelty to it. Kwiatkoski probably has the highest ceiling and Jones, who made 15 starts last season, has the most experience. The obvious difference is that these guys simply don't make the number of tackles in the run game or have the ability to defend passes of Freeman or Trevathan. I would imagine Carlos Hyde will be able to pop a few runs and Vance McDonald could find some room against these backups.

Otherwise, the Bears hope to get Leonard Floyd back from a concussion. If he can't go, that puts more snaps on Willie Young and Pernell McPhee, who are more effective with a deeper rotation. Kyle Fuller has missed the entire year and is working his way back from a knee injury. Tracy Porter has been banged up as well, so the outside corner spots have been manned by a rotating group of young, inexperienced players. They've had flashes of competency with stretches of embarrassing play.

Out: Jay Cutler
Questionable: S Adrian Amos (foot), OLB Leonard Floyd (concussion), CB Deiondre’ Hall (ankle), WR Eddie Royal (toe), OG Josh Sitton (ankle), OLB Willie Young (knee - new addition to report)