The Green Bay Packers won’t have to play against Chicago Bears star linebacker Roquan Smith in Week 15.
All of a sudden, the Chicago Bears are back in the playoff picture and will arrive at Lambeau Field on Sunday on the back of three straight wins. But the Green Bay Packers won’t have to worry about the impact that star linebacker Roquan Smith could have on the game.
According to the Bears’ official Twitter account, Smith has been placed on injured reserve, meaning his season is over.
Smith has made a great start to his NFL career. In two seasons, he has made 223 tackles, seven sacks, seven quarterback hits, two interceptions, and seven pass defenses. He was selected to the PFWA All-Rookie Team last season.
The Bears have had injuries to key players on defense in recent weeks. Cornerback Prince Amukamara missed last week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys due to a hamstring injury. Linebacker Danny Trevathan also didn’t play due to an elbow injury. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Akiem Hicks is on injured reserve.
The Packers will, of course, need to be prepared for All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack. Mack has 20 sacks since being traded to the Chicago Bears at the start of the 2018 season. He’s also made quite the impact against the Packers since joining the Bears. In three games, Mack has made 3.5 sacks, forced two fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown.
This season, Mack has 7.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, 13 quarterback hits and four pass defenses. Mack can make game-changing plays throughout the game, so the Packers’ offensive line will need to have a good game plan.
The Bears have momentum and need to keep winning. Their playoffs effectively began three weeks ago, and so far they’ve passed each test. But there’s no doubt they’ll miss Smith, who has been a great addition to their defense. He was drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Packers offense will have a difficult afternoon against the Bears defense, but they won’t have to play against Smith this week.