If former Cowboy Jay Ratliff ever approaches the form that earned him four Pro Bowl berths, he'll be a huge upgrade to a Bears defensive line that has been plagued by injuries and declining performance all season.
The 32-year-old Ratliff, who agreed to terms with the Bears on Saturday, played in just six games last season, the last on Nov. 18, because of a groin injury that led to surgery in December. He was cut by the Cowboys two weeks ago after failing a physical, although he has been cleared to resume football activities. Best guess is that he might be able to contribute by the end of the month.
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The Bears have been short-handed on the D-line since losing Pro Bowl tackle Henry Melton in Week 3 and then his fill-in, Nate Collins, two weeks later. Both suffered season-ending knee injuries.
Ratliff was arrested in January on drunk driving charges and has a court date in February.
Quarterback Jay Cutler (groin) and linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) are out. Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee), safety Major Wright (knee) and linebacker Blake Costanzo (knee) are all probable after full practices Saturday. Wide receiver Joe Anderson (abdomen) was limited and is questionable.
For the Packers, tight end Jermichael Finley (neck) and linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb) are out. Linebacker Nick Perry (foot) is doubtful after not practicing all week, and wide receiver James Jones (knee) is questionable after a limited practice. Linebacker Brad Jones (hamstring), CB Sam Shields (toes) and tight end Ryan Taylor (knee) are all probable.