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Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Preview and Predictions 09-29-2019

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Dalvin Cook has bolted out of the blocks, to the tune of etching his name alongside four Hall of Famers in recording at least 100 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown in his team's first three games of the season. The NFL's early-season rushing leader aims to remain on the fast track Sunday as the Minnesota Vikings travel to Soldier Field to face Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears.

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Minnesota has bucked the trend of the pass-happy league, calling a designed run on 58 percent of its offensive plays while averaging more yards on the ground (193.7) than through the air (164.7). "That comes with the old-school rules," Cook said. "We know the type of defense we've got. If we can keep this thing close and keep this thing manageable for us to go win the football game, that's part of running the football and taking big shots and making plays and just converting." Chicago has an impressive defense in its own right, with Mack forcing a pair of fumbles and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix returning one of his two interceptions for a touchdown in Monday's 31-15 victory over Washington. Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who had one sack and eight tackles in that contest, appears ready for Cook and the Vikings after telling reporters: "Ground game, this is how football started. If you're not hyped for that, you're in the wrong place."

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Bears -2. O/U: 38

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (2-1): Kirk Cousins has been slow to get untracked with Minnesota relying heavily on Cook (375 yards, 6.6 yards per carry), who joined Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson, Emmitt Smith and Curtis Martin by rolling up triple-digit rushing yards and a score on the ground in each of his first three games this season. Cousins is averaging a meager 167.3 passing yards in 2019 and went below that number (132) in his previous encounter with Chicago, a 24-10 loss on Dec. 30. Stefon Diggs, who reeled in a 2-yard touchdown pass in that outing, has just six catches this season -- with three coming for a total of 15 yards in last Sunday's 34-14 romp over Oakland. Adam Thielen had a touchdown catch against the Raiders for a depleted wide receiver corps that welcomed back former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell this week after Chad Beebe (ankle) was placed on injured reserve.

ABOUT THE BEARS (2-1): Mitchell Trubisky threw three touchdown passes to Taylor Gabriel in the second quarter against the Redskins after failing to find the end zone in each of the team's first two games. "I don't know if I would call it a breakthrough yet," the 25-year-old Trubisky said. "We've got to keep getting better. Keep growing. Definitely room for improvement, and definitely in the second half, especially on my part. I think if we just stick to the process we're going to be all right." Gabriel was injured later in the game and has been in concussion protocol this week, although fellow wideout Allen Robinson (team-leading 17 catches, 203 yards) has proven to be Trubisky's most trusted option this season. David Montgomery answered a lackluster NFL debut by taking advantage of an increased workload to lead all NFC rookie running backs with 194 scrimmage yards this season.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Chicago CB Kyle Fuller has recorded an interception in two straight games and at least one pass deflection in each of his last three.

2. Minnesota DE Danielle Hunter has notched a sack in each of his first three contests this season.

3. Bears DT Akiem Hicks, who is nursing a knee injury and is game-time decision on Sunday, has collected 6.5 sacks in his last six contests versus the Vikings.

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Capacity: 61,500

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Last Injuries

Chicago Bears

  • Sherrick McManis

    Hamstring
    Ques Sun | questionable

    McMais exited the previous game due to hamstring injury, and it is unknown if he will face the Colts on Sunday.

  • Tarik Cohen

    Knee
    I-R | I-R

    Cohen has been moved to the injured reserve list with a torn ACL in his right knee.

  • John Jenkins

    Thumb
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Jenkins has hit the injured reserve list due to a torn ligament in his thumb, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Robert Quinn

    Ankle
    Prob Sun | probable

    Quinn is expected to face the Falcons on Sunday despite an ankle injury.

  • Khalil Mack

    Knee
    Prob Sun | probable

    Mack is dealing with a knee injury, but it is projected that he will suit up against the Falcons on Sunday.

  • Josh Woods

    Personal
    Prob Sun | probable

    Woods sat out the last game due to a personal matter. He is likely to rejoin the team Sunday against the Falcons.

  • David Montgomery

    Neck
    day-to-day | questionable

    Montgomery departed Sunday's game due to a neck injury, and it is unknown if he will return.

  • Robert Quinn

    Ankle
    Prob Sun | probable

    Quinn missed the last game with an ankle injury, but it is expected that he will suit up against the Giants on Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings

  • Mike Hughes

    Neck
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Hughes sat out the previous game due to a neck injury, and it is unknown if he will suit up against the Texans on Sunday.

  • Cameron Dantzler

    Ribs
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Dantzler has missed the past two games with injured ribs, and it is unclear if he will return Sunday versus the Texans.

  • Troy Dye

    Foot
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Dye has been assigned to the injured reserve list with a mid-foot sprain, and it is unknown how long he will be debilitated.

  • Riley Reiff

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Reiff is dealing with an ankle injury, and it is undetermined if he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the Titans.

  • Kris Boyd

    Hamstring
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Boyd is hobbled by a hamstring injury, and it remains to be seen if he will participate in Sunday's tilt versus the Titans.

  • Mike Boone

    Concussion
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Boone left the last game to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return. It is unknown if he will be cleared in time for Sunday's matchup against the Titans.

  • Anthony Barr

    Pectoral
    I-R | I-R

    Barr has been added to the injured reserve list due to a torn pectoral muscle.

  • Danielle Hunter

    Neck
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Hunter has landed on the injured reserve list due to a neck injury, and he will miss an extended period.