Paea originally sustained the injury in the second half of the club’s loss last week to the Detroit Lions, and after the game, the defensive tackle called the injury “minor” despite the team forcing him to wear a walking boot on his left foot. The team held out Paea for the entire week of practice heading into Sunday’s game and listed him on the injury report as questionable.
With Paea out of action, the Bears plan to start Nate Collins and Landon Cohen at defensive tackle with undrafted rookie Zach Minter also playing a role in the rotation. The club will also likely play starting defensive end Corey Wootton inside at tackle against the Saints, along with defensive end David Bass.
Coincidentally, the Bears face a New Orleans rush offense that ranks No. 25, which might lessen the blow of the club playing without Paea. But given that the Saints rank second in passing offense, and quarterback Drew Brees is coming off his ninth-consecutive 300-yard passing game, the absence of Paea might turn out to be a crushing blow to Chicago’s pass rush.
Other Bears inactives include cornerback C.J. Wilson, safety Anthony Walters (hamstring), guard James Brown, offensive tackle Jonathan Scott, tight end Steve Maneri, and defensive end Cornelius Washington.
Saints inactives are receiver Lance Moore, running back Mark Ingram, safety Roman Harper, defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, defensive lieman Tyrunn Walker, cornerback Rod Sweeting and offensive tackle Terron Armstead.