As they look to get their season back on track, the Minnesota Vikings will head out the road to see if they can get a win over a struggling Chicago Bears team this Sunday.
The Bears are actually coming off their first win of the 2023 campaign, as they were able to leave a Week 5 matchup with the Washington Commanders last Thursday night with a 40-20 victory.
Getting a win in Chicago has always been difficult for the Vikings, but helping their chances is the fact that the Bears are heading into the matchup with a depleted offensive backfield.
Chicago announced on Friday that running backs Khalil Herbert, Travis Homer, and Roschon Johnson have already been ruled out for Sunday's game against Minnesota. Bears fourth-string running back D'Onton Foreman is expected to get the start in the contest.
Other than a terrible showing in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings' run defense has actually been very good this season. In their last three games, Minnesota has only allowed their opponents to rush for an average of 60 yards per matchup, and they rank fifth in the league this year in rushing yards allowed per attempt.
Chicago not having the top three running backs on their depth chart should make life a little easier for the Vikings on Sunday. At the same time, Minnesota still has to account for the elite rushing ability of Bears quarterback Justin Fields.
Last season, Fields rushed for 1,143 yards in 15 games, which is the second-most yards gained by a quarterback on the ground during a single season in NFL history.
This year, Fields' rushing numbers have taken a bit of a dive, with his yards per attempt dropping from 7.1 in 2022 to 4.9 this season and his rushing yards per game average falling from 76.2 last year to 38.2 so far this season.
Still, the Vikings must prepare for Fields to likely have a significant number of rushing attempts this weekend, especially with the injuries to Chicago's offensive backfield.
Will Minnesota be able to take advantage of their opponent's banged-up roster on Sunday, or will Fields and the Bears hand the Vikings their fifth loss of the season?