Why? Because their whole lineup is shufflin'.
(Yeah, that was a long way to go for a dancing hamster reference. I apologize.)
In an effort to jump start their pass defense, our opponents this Sunday have decided that part of their solution should be to bench both of their starting safeties. Brandon Merriweather and Chris Harris will be out of the starting lineup on Sunday night at Soldier Field, and they will be replaced by second-year player Major Wright and rookie Chris Conte. Wright was the Bears' third-round choice out of the University of Florida in the 2010 Draft, while Conte was also a third-round choice, taken by the Bears in the 2011 Draft. Generally, this would not be considered the best strategy, even for the 27th-rated pass defense in the NFL. Then again. . .if there's a passing offense that a team could probably get away with swapping out half of their secondary against, it would be the Minnesota Vikings.
A slightly less prudent measure, on the other hand, might be to start screwing around with your offensive line a few days before facing the defense that is second in the NFL in sacks and has a pair of defensive ends that are playing as well as any duo in the league in Jared Allen and Brian Robison. But, after looking like they were actually trying to get Jay Cutler killed against the Detroit Lions, the Bears are moving some parts around there, too. Word is that Lance Louis will be getting the start at right tackle on Sunday night, with Frank Omiyale going to the bench.
Oh, and then there's the minor little detail of that Julius Peppers fellow spraining an MCL during the Monday nighter against Detroit, and that his status for Sunday night is "up in the air." After the site of Peppers running circles around the Vikings' offensive line the past couple times he's played Minnesota (whether it was with Carolina or Chicago), I'm sure most Viking fans wouldn't be too terribly saddened to see him out of the lineup. However, I'm guessing he plays. . .and, knowing our luck in prime-time games as of late, will play pretty well.
We'll have the full injury reports for both teams tomorrow, but those are a couple of things that needed to be pointed out. And I wanted to get the hamster thing in there, because if that song is in my head, it should be in everyone else's, too.