The injury plagued Carolina Panthers (1-5) travel to the Windy City to take on the upstart Chicago Bears (5-1) at Soldier Field. The Panthers have struggled so far this season after being a favorite to contend for a postseason berth. The Bears have found success this year, sitting atop the NFC North and looking to make a playoff run.
For Carolina, their quarterback has struggled mightily and has not looked the part of an AP Offensive Rookie of the Year winner. His offense hasn't fared much better as the running game has been virtually nonexistent, and the line has struggled with a combination of injuries and youth.
Chicago looks to extend their undefeated streak at home with the Bears defense primed to make Newton's day miserable as well as making the Carolina running game a non-factor. The Chicago rush defense is ranked first in the league, allowing an average of 71.0 yards per game.
This game marks a reunion between Bears defensive end Julius Peppers and his former team, while Carolina head coach Ron Rivera returns to the city where he played linebacker for the Bears and helped bring them a championship.
Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears
Soldier Field, Chicago
Weather: Sun and clouds; 48 degrees
Line: Chicago -7.5
TV: Fox, Direct TV 704, NFL Red Zone
Radio: Sirius XM Radio 112
|Name||Position||Injury||Practice Status||Game Status|
|Antwan Applewhite||DE||Thigh||Out (Definitely Will Not Play)||Out|
|Jon Beason||LB||Knee||Out (Definitely Will Not Play)||Out|
|Dwan Edwards||DT||Hand||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Ben Hartsock||TE||Calf||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Charles Johnson||DE||Hip||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Thomas Keiser||DE||Elbow||Did Not Participate In Practice||Doubtful|
|Captain Munnerlyn||CB||Leg||Full Participation in Practice||
|Jay Cutler||QB||Ribs||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Brody Eldridge||TE||Illness||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Alshon Jeffery||WR||Hand||Out (Definitely Will Not Play)||Out|
|Sherrick McManis||CB||--||Full Participation in Practice||
Fantasy Start 'Em/Sit 'Em
Steve Smith, WR - Start: He has had great success against the Bears defense during the Lovie Smith era and is the only player other than Adrian Peterson who has given Chicago problems.
DeAngelo Williams & Jonathan Stewart, RB - Sit: There is no sense in starting either one of these guys because neither has put together a 100-yard game this year and the Bears defense is tops at stopping the run.
Matt Forte, RB - Start: This is a no-brainer as the Carolina defense has not done a good job at containing opposing running backs in 2012.
Chicago DEF/ST - Start: Expect Julius Peppers and company to give the Carolina front a lot of work, and Cam Newton scrambling out of the pocket.
Stand by for more updates during the game and provide any feedback in the comment thread.