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Allen Robinson Injury Is a Real Problem

Bears have the chance to attack Baltimore's last-ranked pass defense but with wide receiver Allen Robinson doubtful for Sunday's game this could be difficult.

Strangely, the player who usually impacts the Bears the most is out for the year and it might not even be the biggest injury news impacting this game for them.

In fact, that might even be true for the rest of the season.

As the Bears prepare to face the Baltimore Ravens, they won't have Khalil Mack and also won't have defensive end Akiem Hicks, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.

Losing Mack is devastating, no doubt.

The most impactful injury, though, is not even Hicks but the one to wide receiver Allen Robinson. He is listed doubtful for Sunday's game with a hamstring injury suffered on a completion from Justin Fields in the Nov. 8 fourth-quarter comeback against Pittsburgh. He hasn't practiced this week so it's safe to assume he's not playing.

Losing Mack's ability to sack a quarterback and also draw blockers away from Robert Quinn's side of the line or from other pass rushers might be big, and it's certainly true the Bears pass rush was carrying the defense because their secondary has struggled as much as their run defense has.

So without Mack and without Hicks' inside rush they are going to have a difficult time stopping Baltimore and quarterback Lamar Jackson.

However, the Bears haven't had Mack on the field for two games and in the game prior to that against Tampa Bay he obviously was bothered by the foot injury. The injury has plagued him since Week 3 but only got worse. And with Hicks out, the Bears offense was going to need to step up and do its part.

Against Pittsburgh, quarterback Justin Fields had engineered a fourth-quarter comeback with his passing and finally had just started to connect with Allen Robinson for the first time, completing four passes for Robinson's season best of 68 yards.

Now, without Robinson, the Bears are left with Darnell Mooney as the main target and he leads the team in receptions (36) but much of his success is because of the attention defenses pay to Robinson. Mooney will need to step up on his own for the first time, because Robinson hasn't missed a game since 2018.

Beyond that, the Bears have had nothing much from their other wide receivers this year. Marquise Goodwin made a couple of deep catches but has only 12 receptions for 173 yards and Damiere Byrd has made only four receptions for 29 yards this season

The Bears won't have the big X-type receiver target and it could mean more tight end targeting this week. They also could bring up some help from the practice squad.

"You could look at guys like Rodney Adams, Isaiah Coulter and there's couple others as well," Nagy said.

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Adams was a fan favorite after catching a deep ball from Andy Dalton in a noon preseason game right after spending the night at the hospital due to the birth of a child.

"That's the one thing that I feel like heading into this year, and it's a good thing because of some of the injuries we've had, I feel like (GM) Ryan (Pace) and the personnel side has done a great job of creating depth for us and that is one position at wide receiver that if we run into something where we need some depth we've got it and we'll see."

It's still not Robinson. And the Bears were going to need the offensive firepower. Their defense had been slipping without Mack and with Hicks suffering from first a groin injury and now an ankle injury. Safety Eddie Jackson has been gone but could return this week. He practiced Thursday and Friday on a limited basis but has a hamstring issue and he's questionable for the game after missing almost all of the last two.

So the Bears were going to need offense and Fields had just indicated in the game with Pittsburgh he could provide it. The passing game was going to be especially important because Baltimore owns the league's worst pass defense and is fourth against the run, so this was going to be a golden opportunity for Fields to continue the momentum he built.

"Honestly, we are just gelling together better," Goodwin said Friday. "Our conversation is different, our energy together is different, we talk different in the huddle now. We are pretty certain in the personel we have in the huddle.

"We just have to execute when we get into the game."

Now it won't be as easy to do it with their chief passing game target removed.

"It’s really hard to replace somebody like A-Rob," Goodwin said. "Just a great talent. Great leader. Great person overall.

"What we can do is know our assignments and make plays when the ball comes our way, just like he does."

The fourth-quarter rally might have represented a change in the style of this Bears team from one dependent on defense to win to one either balanced or one leaning on its offense, now that Mack is gone.

Now, it would appear this is a transformation still a week or two away until Robinson's return.

Twitter: BearDigest@onFanNation