PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Eagles safety Brian Dawkins and Bears cornerback Nathan Vasher each sat out for the fourth consecutive game with injuries in Sunday's game between Philadelphia and Chicago.
Dawkins has not played since sustaining a stinger while making a tackle against the Redskins in Week 2. Vasher has sat out the last four games with a groin injury.
Former Eagles defensive tackle Darwin Walker sat out his second straight game for Chicago with a knee injury and Philadelphia tight end L.J. Smith was out after missing practice all week with a groin injury. Smith had offseason surgery for a sports hernia and had a second surgery on the area earlier this season. He played last week against the New York Jets, catching one pass for 8 yards.
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This is a critical matchup between two teams that were supposed to be two of the better teams in the NFC, but haven't lived up to the hype. Both teams need to win in order to keep pace within their divisions.
Bears QB Brian Griese will be spending a lot of time in the film room this week preparing for the Eagles' pressure schemes because Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson places a lot of emphasis on attacking the QB and forcing turnovers. However, the Bears must find a way to get RB Cedric Benson going this week against an Eagles run defense that is allowing 91.2 yards a game to take pressure off Griese. It will also be interesting to see if the Bears continue to get Devin Hester more involved in the offense because of his explosive playmaking skills.
Philadelphia will counter the Bears' running game with RB Brian Westbrook, who is an explosive player in his own right. Plus, with his skill set, Westbrook has the potential to have an 'Adrian Peterson' performance similar to the one the Bears defense allowed last week.