It’s the Friday before the first game of the season, which means it’s time for our final injury report of the week. Let’s break down how healthy Atlanta and Chicago are heading into the game Sunday by looking at the injury reports and breaking down key players who could miss the game.
The Falcons are relatively healthy, thankfully. Brian Hill will be out, but he was the fourth running back on this roster and was unlikely to see the field anyways. Terron Ward appears to be healthy enough to play, which leaves the Falcons in good shape against Chicago’s underrated defensive front.
The only other player who might not suit up due to injury appears to be reserve tackle Austin Pasztor, who is still recuperating from an injury that cost him a shot to play in two preseason games with the Falcons after he was signed. If Pasztor doesn’t suit up, it’ll be Ty Sambrailo backing up both tackle spots in this one.
Things are significantly worse on the Chicago side. They’re likely going to be without top cornerback Prince Amukamara, who likely would’ve drawn Julio Jones for most of the game. He has not among the highest-rated cornerbacks in the NFL a year ago and likely would have struggled with that assignment, but there’s just nobody on this Chicago team I’d trust more than him with that particularly difficult challenge. Given how many weapons the Falcons have in their passing game, that seems like bad news for the Bears.
Guard Kyle Long is questionable, meanwhile, and at least one team writer is expressing doubt that he’ll suit up. That leaves an already banged-up Bears offense down one of its better starting linemen—Long was the 27th ranked guard by Pro Football Focus last year, out of 64 possible full-time starters—which creates an even bigger opportunity for Grady Jarrett and Dontari Poe to wreak havoc on the middle. Things are really lining up about as well as they could for Atlanta in this one, and about as poorly as they could for the Bears.
Bears list CB Prince Amukamara (ankle) as doubtful and LG Kyle Long (ankle) as questionable. I'd be surprised if either plays. We shall see.— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) September 8, 2017