Week 17 updates: Cole Kmet is active for the Chicago Bears and likely to extend his consecutive games streak vs. the Atlanta Falcons

The 6-9 Chicago Bears will play the 7-8 Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field in a Week 17 matchup. Here’s what you might want to know earlier than kickoff (midday, CBS-2).

Inactives introduced

Bears tight finish Cole Kmet is lively for Sunday’s recreation in opposition to the Falcons.

Kmet handled a knee damage through the week and was listed as questionable. He by no means has missed a recreation in 4 seasons with the Bears, a streak of 65 straight getting into Sunday.

Bears heart Lucas Patrick can be lively after being listed as questionable with a knee concern. Left guard Teven Jenkins will return after clearing concussion protocol.

Running again D’Onta Foreman, nonetheless, is inactive after working towards all week. The Bears will depend on Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson as a substitute.

As the Bears introduced Friday, they are going to be with out large receiver Darnell Mooney, who’s in concussion protocol. Linebacker DeMarquis Gates, security Quindell Johnson, offensive lineman Ja’Tyre Carter and quarterback Nathan Peterman are also inactive. Peterman will function the emergency third quarterback.

For the Falcons, tight finish John FitzPatrick, defensive linemen Joe Gaziano and Tommy Togiai, offensive linemen Jovaughn Gwyn and John Leglue and quarterback Logan Woodside are inactive.

‘People put a timeline on whether they can judge guys, but I’m actually simply in the beginning’

By most accounts, Justin Fields has made steps towards turning into the kind of quarterback the Bears can win with.

Interceptions and sacks are down since he got here again from the thumb damage Nov. 19. He has closed out some wins. He has had flashes of enchancment in his motion inside the pocket and his willingness to go downfield fairly than at all times tuck and run when the pocket breaks down. And he has continued to point out his distinctive means — in contrast to few others within the NFL — to increase performs together with his legs.

But is that sufficient to persuade the Bears to wager on him once more? Read extra right here.

How have the Bears fared on New Year’s Eve video games?

Fans at Soldier Field on Dec. 31, 1988, settled in to observe a divisional playoff recreation in opposition to the Philadelphia Eagles in surprising consolation.

There was vivid sunshine, little wind and temperatures heading for the 40s. Until, a sudden slap within the face.

“A fog that rolled in from the lake late in the first half left the spectators to stare into a gray shroud from which the players would emerge with maddening infrequency,” Tribune reporter Phil Hersh wrote on the time.

Few of the 65,534 spectators had been in a position to see the ultimate moments of the Bears’ 20-12 victory because of the thick haze.

The “Fog Bowl” — which marked the primary time the Bears ever performed on New Year’s Eve — is now one of many franchise’s most memorable video games. Read extra right here.

Defensive numbers don’t lie

There is a hyperlink between the 2023 Bears and previous groups, together with the division champions in 2018 and 2001 and even the Super Bowl XX champions of 1985.

The run protection this season is each bit nearly as good because it was for the dominant defenses of these profitable groups. In reality, with two video games remaining, Matt Eberflus’ crew has a shot at being the perfect run protection in Bears historical past, a outstanding risk when contemplating final yr’s crew ranked thirty first within the NFL permitting 157.3 yards per recreation, the group’s second-worst season within the Super Bowl period (161.4 yards per recreation in 2013). Read extra right here.

Catch up on all our protection earlier than kickoff