|LB Brian Urlacher is the only player on the injury report -- still hurting from a hamstring injury. (US Presswire)|
This injury news was expected. What wasn't anticipated is that DT Henry Melton would be listed as doubtful for the game in Arizona with a collarbone injury that kept him out of last week's contest. It greatly curtails the pass rush when the starting three-technique DT is out. Melton had limited practice all week. Israel Idonije likely would start at the spot if Melton can't go.
"We have a few guys who are question marks right now but we have a few hours before they play still, and hopefully we'll have everybody available," coach Lovie Smith said, referring to everyone except Urlacher.
Special injury: A calf injury suffered during the week kept LB Blake Costanzo from practicing Friday and he is listed questionable.
Constanzo had his first NFL start last week because Geno Hayes was out with a knee injury. Hayes is probable for Sunday, but the Bears would still like to have Constanzo because he is tied for the team lead in special teams tackles (11) and the Bears have to contend with Cardinals return man Patrick Peterson, who is a threat to go all the way but is sffering through an off-year at 20th in the league in punt returns (8.6 yards a return).
"He's by far the best punt returner that we're going to face all year," Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. "The guy's extremely dangerous.
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Answering the bell: RB Kahlil Bell never got a carry with the Jets during his month there after being cut by the Bears. Now that he's back, he could find himself actually carrying the ball in the offense, although not necessarily in short yardage as a replacement for Michael Bush, who went on IR with a rib injury.
"He could get some reps just in general," coach Lovie Smith said. "We've played all three of our running backs, have gotten at least a few plays each game.
"Kahlil knows the offense, he's not like a guy coming in off the street that doesn't know exactly what we're doing."
Bell has 131 attempts for 589 yards as a Bear but refused to take a pay cut when he was initially cut, then was cut again after being brought back.
The knock on Bell had always been that he is a fumbler after he lost three fumbles late last season.
Although he didn't get a carry in New York, he did have one reception.
He also had a fumble.
Joe tackler: WR Joe Anderson, promoted from the practice squad last week, got in the Bears hit of the year on kick coverage when he leveled Green Bay's Randall Cobb at the 11-yard line last week. Toub will use Anderson a little more extensively in special teams this week but also thinks the hit will get Anderson some more blocking attention.
"The thing about Joe, they didn't really see Joe coming," Toub said. "So we kind of took advantage of that.
"Teams will see him on tape and kind of get a book on him a little bit. He won't be unblocked this week, I guarantee that."
Road crew: With two road games to finish the season, and the only path to the playoffs as a wild card, it appears the Bears' only way to win a Super Bowl would be to win six consecutive road games. "We know the road that we have to go to achieve our goal and that's on the road, a long road trip you could say starting off with," coach Lovie Smith.
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSBears.