Marion Barber Injury: Bears Doomed to Lose vs. Packers with RB Reportedly out

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2011

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11:  Running back Marion Barber #24 of the Chicago Bears looks on from the bench against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 11, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Chicago Bears running back Marion Barber is reportedly out of Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, a loss that Lovie Smith's team will not be able to overcome against their division rivals.

Third-string running back Kahlil Bell will make his second career start in Week 16, but Coach Smith isn't worried about his young ball carrier, saying:

"He can make you miss in the open field. He can run with power inside. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. I'm excited about the opportunity he has.''

With Josh McCown at quarterback for the Bears on Sunday, the running game led by Bell must play well so McCown doesn't have the pressure of carrying the offense by himself against a talented Packers defense.

The Packers do allow 289 yards passing per game, which ranks second worst in the league, so McCown may not have too much trouble of managing the game on Sunday.

Bell must help his quarterback out by carrying the football with success early in the first quarter and not allowing the Packers defense that has playmakers in the secondary to focus solely on the defending the pass.

In the three December games played this season, Bell has rushed for 139 yards on 28 carries for an impressive average of five yards per carry.

The Packers still have something to play for on Sunday despite having their perfect season wrecked by the Kansas City Chiefs last week.

Green Bay can clinch home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win on Sunday, which is important for any team to play for.

Last season they had to win three road games to reach the Super Bowl, and you can bet the Packers prefer to get back there by winning at home this season.

With a third-string running back and a below-average quarterback starting on Sunday, the Bears won't have enough offensive firepower to beat the Packers, causing them to lose and see their playoff hopes crumble.

McCown and Bell won't be able to match Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his offense on the scoreboard this week, especially with Green Bay having a strong chance to clinch home field in the playoffs.