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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: Can Bears be eliminated from playoffs Sunday?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Can the Bears be eliminated from the playoffs this weekend?
Mark K.
Darien, Illinois

There's no scenario this weekend that would eliminate the Bears from the playoffs. While a win Sunday in Minnesota would be huge, the Bears could still qualify as the NFC's third and final wild card if they lose to the Vikings. Here's what would have to happen: The Bears would have to beat the Jaguars and Packers; the Vikings would have to lose to the Saints and Lions; and the Cardinals would have to lose two of their final three games versus the Eagles, 49ers and Rams. I detailed all of the Bears' playoff possibilities in this article.

If rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson can't play against the Vikings, who do you think would take his place?
Aaron W.
Lapeer, Michigan

When Jaylon Johnson exited last Sunday's win over the Texans with a shoulder injury, he was replaced by fellow rookie Kindle Vildor, a fifth-round draft pick from Georgia Southern. The only other healthy reserve cornerback on the roster is Duke Shelley, who played nickel back versus Houston in place of the injured Buster Skrine, who remains in concussion protocol. If Johnson and Skrine can't play against the Vikings, it seems logical to assume that Vildor and Shelley would again fill the same roles. Vildor recorded two tackles while playing 14 snaps versus the Texans; he had appeared on only one play on defense all season before replacing Johnson last Sunday. Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano described Vildor as a "pit bull" and labeled Vildor and Shelley as "young, hungry, scrappy, highly-competitive football players."

What is the Bears record this season when they win the turnover battle?
Peter W.
Park Forest, Illinois

The Bears are 3-0 with a positive turnover ratio this season, beating the Lions (in Detroit), Panthers and Texans. They are 1-5 when losing the turnover battle, dropping the last five games when they've had fewer takeaways than their opponent, and they are 2-2 when it's been even.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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