Chicago Sun-Times

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As the Bears make final preparations for Thursday's meeting with the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field, we'll take a quick look at a few issues the visitors are facing with a little help from our friend Matt Maiocco:

*** You think the Bears have issues on their offensive line? The Niners have some problems of their own. Left guard Adam Snyder just went down with a sprained ankle. He's out at least for this game. RIght guard David Baas has missed all of training camp as he slowly works his way back from a torn pec muscle suffered lifting weights in April. Right tackle Jonas Jennings is going to be sidelined also following surgery to repair a broken knuckle in his right hand.

*** You think the Bears have issues at wide receiver where two starting jobs are still up for grabs? Free-agent pickup Bryant Johnson (hamstring), ex-Notre Dame star Arnaz Battle (hamstring) and Ashley Lelie (calf) are out. Lelie could be on the outside looking in when final cuts come down in San Francisco.

The Bears flirted with the idea of bringing Johnson in for a free-agent visit but went another direction in the veteran route, bringing back Marty Booker and signing ex-Niner Brandon Lloyd.

Hug it out

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The Vikings are going to battle with themselves in preparation for Sunday's meeting with the Bears at Soldier Field.

DE Erasmus James and RB Chester Taylor got into a scuffle in the locker room following Wednesday's practice that prompted a team meeting called by coach Brad Childress.

Taylor's right eye is reportedly black, the result of a punch thrown by James. The upshot of the whole deal is James is now on the injury report with a shoulder problem. No one knows if it came from the altercation. Things reportedly ended when Taylor heaved a chair at Taylor and inadvertently hit LT Bryant McKinnie. That's the kind of accuracy you expect from QB Tarvaris Jackson, if anyone.

Scouting the Packers

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While no one expected the Bears to be 1-3 at this point in the season, you’re not going to find anyone not wearing a foam cheesehead that would have predicted Green Bay would be 4-0 a month into the season. Certainly signs pointed to things turning the corner for Mike McCarthy in his second season, specifically the Packers’ close to the 2006 season when they won four straight.

No scouts are getting excited about Green Bay’s 4-0 record as they are the perfect starts in New England or Dallas, but you can’t poke too many holes in an unbeaten team that has certainly built a nice cushion for itself. A closer look at Green Bay:

Scouting the Lions

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There’s been a lot of talk about the Bears being able to get pressure on Detroit QB Jon Kitna, and that’s absolutely imperative. But the Lions aren’t nearly as bad pass blocking as the nine sacks they allowed last Sunday at Philadelphia would indicate. Four of those sacks came in the fourth quarter when the game was helplessly out of reach and the Eagles were pinning their ears back and coming.

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