While Bears won't miss Rodgers, defense won't overlook Hundley
The Packers have not won a game since Aaron Rodgers was sidelined with a fractured collarbone early in their 23-10 loss to the Vikings on Oct. 15, going 0-3 with Brett Hundley at quarterback. They were 4-1 in games Rodgers started and finished.
The Packers have been outscored 79-44 in the three losses with Hundley, averaging 14.7 points per game. Under Rodgers, they averaged 27.4 points.
Rodgers has led the Packers to victories over the Bears at Soldier Field in each of the last six seasons and eight of the last nine meetings in Chicago, including the 2010 NFC title game. So Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee was honest when he was asked if he was disappointed that he wouldn't get to face Rodgers.
"Disappointed?" a wide-eyed McPhee said. "Nah. No, I'm not disappointed. I hope Rodgers has a speedy recovery, he's a legend to this game, but I'd rather play Brett than Aaron."
Hundley has a 58.3 passer rating with 1 TD pass and 4 interceptions. Rodgers threw 3 picks on twice as many attempts and had 13 touchdown passes for a 103.2 passer rating.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara was more diplomatic.
"We're all aware that Hundley is not quite at Aaron's level, but he's still a great quarterback," Amukamara said. "He does pose a threat. He's definitely a dual-threat quarterback. He's able to tuck it in and run, and you can see (they're) calling a lot of plays that cater to his play style."
Hundley has 69 rushing yards on just 8 attempts (8.6-yard average) with 2 touchdowns.
"It's very different because the new guy, Brett, he's got pretty good speed," McPhee said. "So we got to be real disciplined in our rush lanes, and we just have to play until the whistle blows."
Next man up:
With Zach Miller on injured reserve and Dion Sims missing practice all week with an illness, the Bears could be operating Sunday with a young and inexperienced group of tight ends.
Rookie Adam Shaheen has played sparingly and has 1 catch for a 2-yard touchdown. Daniel Brown is the veteran of the group. The third-year player has 1 catch for 9 yards this year. In 2016, he caught 16 passes for 124 yards for the Bears in eight games after he was waived waived by the Baltimore Ravens, who signed him as an undrafted rookie out of James Madison in 2015.
Ben Braunecker was promoted earlier this week from the practice squad. He was undrafted out of Harvard last year but signed with the Bears and played in 13 games, mostly on special teams, but he also had 4 catches for 41 yards.
Coach John Fox hasn't lowered his expectations.
"You prepare a whole different group," Fox said. "Whoever gets a uniform, we expect them to do their job and do it at a high level."
Balancing act: The benefits of throwing the ball down the field were evident in the Bears' last game, when Mitch Trubisky connected with Tre McBride for 45 yards, setting up a 27-yard Connor Barth field goal.
Despite that play, the Bears are last in the league in passing yards. But they're sixth in rushing yards and tied for sixth in rushing attempts.
"Our balance is a little bit out of whack to the run side," offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "But when you start to throw the ball and push the ball down the field a little bit more, I think it opens up a lot of different things.
"I think that it's going to help (lessen) negative runs by throwing the ball down the field and being more aggressive and opening it up a little bit."
There are six Bears who did not practice all week but are listed as questionable, which theoretically means they have a 50-50 chance of playing Sunday.
The list includes linebacker Danny Trevathan (calf), tight end Dion Sims (illness), cornerbacks Sherrick McManis (hamstring) and Bryce Callahan (knee), defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (hamstring) and guard Tom Compton (knee). Guard Kyle Long (finger) was limited Friday and is also questionable.
For the Packers, safety Morgan Burnett (groin) is out. Linebackers Ahmad Brooks (back) and Joe Thomas (ankle) are considered questionable, although the Packers did not practice Friday.
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