The Chicago Bears defense was already expected to be without starting defensive linemen Bilal Nichols and Akiem Hicks, so seeing another defensive starter listed as doubtful to play is not ideal.
#Bears LB Roquan Smith has been downgraded to doubtful for today’s game.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) September 29, 2019
Roquan Smith is doubtful for the #Bears. Personal reasons, per team.
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) September 29, 2019
Inside linebacker Roquan Smith has been downgraded to doubtful to play in Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Smith wasn’t on the injury report last week, but Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times tweets Smith is listed as doubtful because of personal reasons.
If Smith doesn’t suit up, the Bears will be in serious trouble. Because while the team has depth along the defensive line, Chicago’s reserve inside linebackers don’t offer much in depth beyond Smith and fellow starter Danny Trevathan. Nick Kwiatkoski makes sense as the next man up if Smith can’t play, but there is a real drop-off in going from Smith to Kwiatkoski.
A weakened defense along the front seven could allow for Dalvin Cook to break through with runs up the middle and check-down opportunities in the pass-catching game on throws from Kirk Cousins. The injury report will be out soon, and we will deliver a full update once that gets shared.