I know better than to get ahead of my skis, but seeing that Khalil Mack practiced — albeit, in limited capacity — on Friday makes me feel better than I did after reading the week’s first two injury reports.
Mack, who didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday because of a shoulder issue, is questionable to play on Sunday against the Texans. There have been seven previous occasions in which Mack has been questionable to play on the week’s final injury report. And each time, Mack put on his pads and played ball. There is no denying the guy is a gamer. But I’d be foolish not to consider that injuries have piled onto Mack as this season has progressed. Shoulder, ankle, knee, and back injuries have slowed Mack down this year. So while I imagine much of his injury report status could be linked to maintenance and caution, that these injuries have popped up provides more reason to proceed with caution. In any case, it’s great seeing him get upgraded from not practicing to doing so with limitations on Friday.
As for the rest of the injury report:
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 11, 2020
Buster Skrine is out with a concussion. This leaves the Bears moving to alternatives at the slot corner position. Head Coach Matt Nagy mentioned safeties DeAndre Houston-Carson and Deon Bush as possible replacements. Houston-Carson and Bush are safeties by trade, but have been used as slot defenders at different points this season. Duke Shelley is another name to throw in the ring. Shelley is a second-year player who seemed to be groomed into a potential slot corner. However, Shelley has played just 14 defensive snaps in 16 games over two seasons. Rookie Kindle Vildor was not mentioned by Nagy, which isn’t unsurprising at this point. Vildor has just one defensive snap in 12 games.
Joining Skrine as unavailable is pass-rusher James Vaughters, whose knee will keep him out of action for a second consecutive week.
Overall, the injury report isn’t as daunting as it was earlier in the week. Especially with Charles Leno Jr., Allen Robinson II, and Akiem Hicks practicing in full. Maybe I should’ve had Michael do this one instead. Ah, well, maybe next week.