With the exception of No. 4 outside linebacker Isaiah Irving, the Bears will have all hands on deck when they visit the 4-4 Eagles on Sunday in Philadelphia.
Irving was ruled out with a quad injury, which he suffered in the Week 8 loss against the Los Angeles Chargers. He was the only player listed on the Bears’ final injury designation list Friday, when tight end Trey Burton (groin), wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (shin), safety Eddie Jackson (hamstring) and defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (knee) were all officially limited for precautionary purposes in the third consecutive practice indoors on turf at the Walter Payton Center.
Meanwhile, the Eagles ruled out future Hall of Fame left tackle Jason Peters (knee) and starting linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle), who’ll each miss their third consecutive games. DeSean Jackson, whose 17.4-yard catch average leads all active NFL receivers, is set to return for the Eagles for the first time since he suffered an abdomen injury in Week 2.
The Eagles also are expected to welcome back cornerback Avonte Maddox, who’ll man the slot in his first action since suffering a concussion in the Week 4 road win over the Green Bay Packers. Maddox, the fill-in for former Bear Cre’Von LeBlanc, who remains on short-term injured reserve with a foot injury, offers Philadelphia much-needed reinforcement in a secondary that’s allowed 16 passing touchdowns, sixth most in the NFL.
In the absence of Peters, who was outstanding battling Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd in the Bears’ home playoff loss in January, athletic but inexperienced first-round rookie Andre Dillard will have the task of protecting former No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz’s blind side.
At 3-4 and mired in the longest losing streak of Matt Nagy’s young tenure, the Bears are officially in must-win mode. The fact that they’re again healthier than their opponent is a positive, but that also was the case in each of their three consecutive losses – all as the favorite. Now, the Bears head to Philadelphia as underdogs (plus-5) for the first time this season.