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Pregame warmup: Win and get in

Posted by Mike Spofford on December 29, 2013 – 2:27 pm

With kickoff less than an hour away, here’s a final rundown on Packers-Bears from Soldier Field.

Win and get in

The winner of this game wins the NFC North and will host a playoff game next weekend. If the Packers win, they would be the No. 4 seed in the NFC. If the Bears win, they could be either the No. 3 or 4 seed depending on the Eagles-Cowboys result later Sunday night.

For more on the NFC playoff possibilities on the final Sunday of the regular season, click here.

Rodgers, Cobb both back

QB Aaron Rodgers hasn’t played since Nov. 4 and WR Randall Cobb hasn’t played since Oct. 13, but both are back for this showdown with a playoff berth at stake.

Rodgers’ availability has been a week-to-week sage, while Cobb just returned to practice two weeks ago but has shown enough to be activated from temporary injured reserve.

The last time the two were on the field together was in the first half at Baltimore back on Oct. 13, and other than the first series of the first Chicago game on Nov. 4, both players missed the earlier meeting with the Bears this season.

Weather update

It’s not a pleasant day in Chicago. Temperatures are in the high 20s and expected to drop throughout the game. Winds are around 20 mph or more, and there’s been a steady drizzle during pregame. Expect the conditions to have an impact on this game.

Milestones in reach

Packers WR James Jones needs just nine receiving yards today to set a new single-season career high. Jones had 784 yards last year.

LB A.J. Hawk, with 1,010 career tackles, needs just five more to move past Nick Barnett for No. 2 on the all-time franchise list. Hawk also needs just 11 more tackles to surpass John Anderson for the top spot. Tackles have been an official statistic only since 1975.

Changes at LB

The Packers knew they were coming into this game without LB Clay Matthews (thumb), but LB Brad Jones was a surprise pre-game scratch despite being probable on the injury report with an ankle injury.

LB Jamari Lattimore is replacing Jones in the starting lineup at ILB, while the Packers will be starting Mike Neal and rookie Andy Mulumba at OLB. Nick Perry is also active and expected to play at OLB.


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