The Bears released their injury report after practice on Thursday and while Matt Forte was a limited participant, running back Michael Bush was not even listed on the injury report and will be a full participant on Monday. Forte is also expected to be ready to go for the road game against the Dallas Cowboys after hurting his ankle two weeks ago against the Packers.
Throughout the season it's been said how important these two backs are to the Bears' offense, and this game against the Cowboys will show precisely how true that statement is. The Bears have struggled on first down this season and part of the reason is they've passed the ball more on first down than they have run the ball. Getting Forte established with Bush to spell Forte every third series is a major key to victory on Monday.
The running game has been successful at times this season, but the Bears have failed to stick with it in order to open up the passing attack. The best way to slow down the Cowboys' blitz happy multi-front look will be to run the ball well and get Forte involved in the passing game with screens and swing passes.
Elsewhere on the injury report, linebacker Brian Urlacher was a full participant and no longer is listed on the injury report, meaning his knee is closer to 100 percent than it was. Urlacher's health will be key to slowing down Cowboys TE Jason Whitten in the passing game.
A bit of a surprise addition to the injury report was wide receiver Earl Bennett who was limited in practice due to a hand injury. The injury is not serious and Bennett is expected to be a full go in the game.
Julius Peppers was held out of practice with his plantar fasciitis but will play in the Monday night game. Peppers' injury will likely be a season long nagging injury, something the Bears will monitor on a week to week basis to make sure it doesn't get worse.
Also missing practice was rookie TE Evan Rodriguez who suffered a knee strain on the opening kickoff against the Rams. Rodriguez will be game to game as he rehabs the knee and hopes to be a full go sooner rather than later. Rodriguez likely misses the game against the Cowboys meaning second year TE Kyle Adams likely gets the start in his place.