With very little to play for outside of pride, the Chicago Bears have four games remaining on their regular season schedule, including an NFC tilt with Washington this Sunday.
At Solider Field, the Bears have two games left on their home grass, starting with Washington and ending with a Week 17 matchup with division rival Detroit. Posting a 1-5 record at home has been very discerning for John Fox's bunch.
Wide receiver Marquess Wilson is the lone player to be ruled out for the Bears this week after suffering a foot injury in Wednesday's practice session. With Wilson out and veteran wideout Eddie Royal (knee) listed as questionable, it appears Royal could take the field for the first time since Week 8 which would give this depleted offense some help.
Another player that could be out is outside linebacker Pernell McPhee. McPhee has been bothered by a lingering knee issue the past month and a half and now it could keep him on the sideline for another game. McPhee is listed as doubtful and his likely absence would open up more passing rush opportunities for Willie Young, Lamarr Houston and Sam Acho. Acho is also questionable with a shoulder injury.
Safety Antrel Rolle and cornerback Bryce Callahan are questionable with knee injuries while tight end Zach Miller is also questionable with a rib injury. Callahan suffered a knee injury on Thursday and if he's forced to sit out, the Bears secondary would take a huge step back with Sherrick McManis at slot corner.
With all that in mind, the Bears are relatively healthy expect in terms of pass catchers with the placing of tight end Martellus Bennett on injured reserve on Tuesday and various wide receiver injuries. Here are the five players to watch against Washington in Week 14.
The fifth round rookie had played steady football over the first 12 weeks of the season, but last Sunday against San Francisco, Amos fell flat on his face in crucial situations. He bit on what he thought was a quarterback slide on Blaine Gabbert's 44-yard touchdown run in regulation and then on the third drive of the overtime period, Amos looked completely lost in coverage as Torrey Smith blew past him and Tracy Porter for the game-winning score.
Calling the Smith touchdown a miscommunication and one that the defense simply "let go", Amos has to play better this week for his confidence moving forward. He's a building block for this defense and with team-lead 79 tackles along with linebackers Shea McClellin and Christian Jones, expect him to be around for a while.
This game is gigantic for Amos' progression along with the final three of the season.
After generating two sacks in 44 games, including 33 starts the last four seasons for Washington and in his first year with the Bears, he has four sacks in 12 starts. Jenkins has gone from an afterthought in free agency to a steady player in Vic Fangio's defense.
He has 13 quarterback hurries and last week against the 49ers he had a half-sack after failing to get on the board over five games prior. On a one-year, prove-it deal, Jenkins is most surely going to be re-signed this off-season to come back as a starter or at the very least a top rotational piece.
Jenkins will have plenty of motivation to play hard against his former team that let him simply walk this off-season.
After missing Week 11, his fifth game this season, Alshon Jeffery has 11 grabs for 175 yards over the past two games. Held without a touchdown grab since Week 8, Jeffery has a juicy matchup against Washington, a secondary that has allowed the third-most touchdowns (17) to opposing wide receivers.
Jeffery needs to get on the same page with Jay Cutler over this final month as he heads to free agency after the season. The Bears won't let him go and expect him to be either franchise tagged or signed to a long-term deal regardless of any health concerns. He should have a nice outing this week.
The new No. 1 tight end for the Bears is Zach Miller and over the last month, the 31-year-old has been pretty good. Battling a rib injury, only has one touchdown over the last weeks, but prior to that, he had three scores in two road games against San Diego and St. Louis.
Miller had 130 yards on seven receptions and those three touchdowns from Week 9-10. He has upside and with a couple games left a new contract should be on the horizon. Injuries have been a huge part of his career and next off-season, Miller will most certainly be getting a two or three year pact to stay with the Bears as one of the top two tight ends if Martellus Bennett is back or not.
Perhaps Gould's worst game of his entire football career came last week when he missed a 40-yarder in the first half and a 36-yarder to win the game against the 49ers. He made a 51-yarder along with an attempt that was just over 40 yards. Gould still showed his powerful leg, but his consistency failed in the worst way last Sunday.
Gould needs to connect on more tries over this last month. He has two years left on his current deal at $3 million annually as he won't be a free agent again until 2018 when he turns 36. This is a big turnaround week for the Penn State product.
Thoughts on Sunday's NFC clash between Washington and Bears? Make sure to comment below.
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