MIKE O'HARA

O'Hara: Final thoughts, Lions at Bears Monday Night game

Posted Oct 22, 2012

Injuries that put Bill Bentley (shoulder) and Jacob Lacey (concussion) on the inactive list opened the way for a cornerback to make a positive impression.

CHICAGO --Final thoughts and observations as kickoff approaches for the Lions-Bears Monday Night game:

Field of seams: The turf at Soldier Field is always an issue, and a day-long rain that hit Chicago early Monday morning made its condition even more uncertain.

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher repeatedly had complained about the playing surface, but it never has gotten better over the years.

The tarp covering the field was removed a little under two hours before kickoff. Players from both teams already were on the field, going through their individual warm-ups, as the tarp was being removed.

From above, the surface looked good, but closer inspection showed seams and ridges that appeared to be the result of repairs.

Who would the playing surface favor? Good question, and it’s probably the Bears, because they’re used to dealing with it.

But the biggest beneficiary would be a landscaping company that could put in new sod.

Cornering the market: Injuries that put Bill Bentley (shoulder) and Jacob Lacey (concussion) on the inactive list opened the way for a cornerback to make a positive impression.

First to benefit was rookie Jonte Green, who finished up last week’s game at Philadelphia and was promoted to make his first pro start.

Alphonso Smith and Justin Miller, both of whom had previous experience with the Lions, were re-signed since the last game. The opportunity was there to make an impression and keep a job instead of being a fill-in for a game or two.

Injury relief: Nobody likes to see players get injured, but significant injuries to players on upcoming opponents could help the Lions.

In two weeks, the Lions play at Jacksonville. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew sustained a foot injury in Sunday’s loss at Oakland and is expected to be out for an extended period.

Packers cornerback Charles Woodson – a major nemesis for QB Matthew Stafford – sustained a broken collarbone in Sunday’s game against the Rams and is expected to be out for six weeks.

The Lions host Green Bay at Ford Field in four weeks, and they play at Green Bay in seven weeks.

Could Woodson be a slow healer?

Fairley good: Defensive tackle Nick Fairley made his first pro start last week and played well, except for two offside penalties. His play warranted a second start Monday night.

It could be the start of a Nick Fairley-Ndamukong Suh combo at defensive tackle.

The odds: The point spread remained constant all week, favoring the Bears by 6 to 6.5 points. It was the same Monday night.