Bengals rule out 5 defensive starters against Bears

CINCINNATI -- The Bengals have ruled out six of their starters for Sunday's game against the Bears, including five on defense.

The Bengals' roster is severely depleted following a physical Monday night game against the Steelers. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and running back Joe Mixon all sustained concussions on Monday, while cornerback Adam Jones injured his groin early in the game.

Linebacker Nick Vigil and safety Shawn Williams had injuries prior to Monday night's game and have been ruled out as well.

The Bengals escaped having their entire secondary ruled out after safety George Iloka's one-game suspension was overturned.

Cornerback Darqueze Dennard and linebacker Vincent Rey are questionable, as well as defensive lineman Geno Atkins, who was in a walking boot Friday after injuring his toe late in the week. Dennard has barely practiced all week since struggling through Monday's game with a knee injury.

The Bengals will have to put a heavy load on running back Giovani Bernard with Mixon out and Jeremy Hill on IR. Their only other option currently on the roster is Brian Hill, who was signed in November to replace Jeremy Hill and has played only on special teams.

In the secondary, the Bengals will likely look to rookie William Jackson and Josh Shaw along with cornerback KeiVarae Russell. Kevin Minter and Jordan Evans will see the most time at linebacker, with rookie Hardy Nickerson potentially playing as well.