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Are The Bears Playing Around With Julius Peppers' Status?

Conspiracy theories are fun. . .hell, the X-Files folks got a bunch of work out of it (and gave the world one of the bigger crushes of my younger years, Gillian Anderson, in the process), but more often than not they're a bit crazy.

That's why I had to raise my eyebrows a bit when looking at Pro Football Talk this morning, as they had linked to this story from a gentleman named John Mullin at CSN Chicago. Mullin is suggesting that the Bears could be listing defensive end Julius Peppers as "doubtful" on the injury report as "payback" for what the Vikings did with their injury report prior to last year's game at TCF Bank Stadium.

If you'll recall, prior to that game, the Vikings had listed quarterback Brett Favre as "out." Now, unlike "probable," "questionable," or "doubtful," there really isn't any room for interpretation for "out" on the injury report. . .it means you're out. However, just hours before game time, Favre's status changed, and sure enough he started for the Vikings on that frozen Monday night.

Granted, Favre nearly got murdered on the field for his troubles, and the Bears won the game by 26 points, but apparently someone in Chicago may still have a chip on their shoulders over the whole thing, if Mullin is to be believed.

It wouldn't be the first time that a team has screwed around with an injury report, if that's what's going on here. . .hell, Bill Belichick has made an art form out of it. But I find it hard to believe that the Vikings wouldn't be preparing for this one as though Peppers was going to be on the field regardless. Either way, whether Julius Peppers is on the field tomorrow night or not, the Vikings need a quality game from the offensive line if they want to beat the Bears at Soldier Field.