Judging by the injury report, the Bears are much healthier than the Falcons heading into Sunday's game in Atlanta.
Only two players appear on the Bears' list. One of them is perennial Pro Bowl outside linebacker Khalil Mack, who was limited in practice during the week and listed as questionable—just as he was before playing in each of the first two games of the season.
Coach Matt Nagy explained that it's part of a new strategy to limit the wear and tear on Mack in his seventh NFL season.
"Each year that passes, you've got to treat them a little different," Nagy said. "We have some older vets on this team and you want to make sure you are taking care of these guys so not only are they ready on Sunday, but they are ready as you continue to hopefully get stronger and faster as the season goes on in the direction you want it to go. So there's a little bit of balance and trust with others that know how to handle these players' bodies. But he's been good with it."
The only other Bears player on the injury list is reserve defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., who is questionable with a glute injury after practicing without limitations Friday.
The Falcons haven't been as fortunate, however; Atlanta has ruled out one starter and lists five more as questionable, including star receiver Julio Jones. The seven-time Pro Bowler did not practice all week due to a hamstring injury that he's been dealing with all season and aggravated in last Sunday's loss to the Cowboys. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Friday that Jones will be a game-time decision.
Atlanta has already ruled out starting safety Ricardo Allen (elbow). Other first-stringers who are questionable are right tackle Kaleb McGary (knee); defensive ends Dante Fowler Jr. (ankle) and Takk McKinley (groin); and linebacker Foye Oluokon (hamstring).