Usually on these practice and injury reports we mostly look at the issues the Dallas Cowboys will be dealing with for their upcoming game. This week, the Cowboys have been healthy except for the same three players. Safety and special-teamer Jeff Heath will miss the game, as will backup corner Tyler Patmon and backup linebacker Dekoda Watson. DeMarcus Lawrence is listed as questionable with a chest injury but he is expected to play.
The only real question for Dallas is will this be the game that Josh Brent finally returns? Bryan Broaddus thinks so.
[Q.] What are the chances we finally see Josh Brent in some game action? [Broaddus] Ask and you shall receive. This was the first week in which Josh Brent took the majority of his snaps with the defense -- and not on the scout team, like he had in the previous weeks. It has been a long road for Brent, but his conditioning appears to be where it needs to be. These defensive coaches feel good enough about what he can do to help this team, scheme-wise, to use him against the Bears on Thursday. Brent has been practicing at the nose tackle spot while working with Terrell McClain, who has been lining up at the under-tackle. I am not sure what we will actually see from Brent when he is put in the game, because it has been a full two years since we last saw him in a NFL game. Where Brent can help this defense is his ability to hold the point in the running game by taking up a blocker or two, which would allow Rolando McClain or Anthony Hitchens that extra count to get to the ball.
Ed Werder isn't as positive about Brant playing, but says the Cowboys are certainly discussing it.
#Cowboys see improvement in Josh Brent conditioning level. Jason Garrett and DC Rod Marinelli to decide whether he plays run downs vs. Bears— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) December 3, 2014
I'd say there's about a 95% chance Brent gets in the game this week. The Cowboys could certainly use his beef in the middle.
The Bears are facing some issues of their own. Placekicker Robbie Gould has been held out of practice all week with a quad injury, and the Bears signed Jay Feely today. That's a pretty good indication that Gould will not be ready, he's officially listed as doubtful.
The Bears have some starters listed as questionable including Jay Ratliff, Chris Conte and maybe most importantly Alshon Jeffery. Here's how Windy City Gridiron describes the injury situation.
Listed as questionable (50% chance to play) for the Bears are wide out Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) and safety Chris Conte (eye). If Jeffery can't go, look for Marquess Wilson or Josh Morgan to receive the start. Last week with Ratliff sitting out it was rookie Will Sutton stepping in and rookie Brock Vereen came in for the injured Conte.
Chicago will be without Lance Briggs who went on IR, they will also be without linebacker Darryl Sharpton. One of their core special-teamers, Cornelius Washington, is doubtful.