Monday: 7:30 p.m. at Soldier Field (Ch. 4, ESPN, 100.3-FM, 1130-AM)
ABOUT THE BEARS
• The Bears (1-6) squandered a 10-6 lead in the third quarter against Green Bay on Oct. 20, giving up 20 consecutive points in a 26-10 loss at Lambeau Field.
• QB Jay Cutler is expected to start against the Vikings after missing five games because of a sprained right thumb.
• Cutler’s return comes just in time after Bears backup quarterback Brian Hoyer was placed on injured reserve this week because of a broken arm suffered against the Packers.
• Eleven Bears are on injured reserve, including two recent first-round picks in WR Kevin White and CB Kyle Fuller.
• The Bears offense is the lowest-scoring NFL group, averaging 15.9 points per game. Star WR Alshon Jeffery’s 520 receiving yards ranks 13th among all receivers, but he’s yet to catch a touchdown.
PLAYER SPEAK | QB JAY CUTLER
• In his eighth season in Chicago after three years in Denver, Cutler might be playing for a new contract as his long-term deal with the Bears becomes movable after this season.
• Cutler is expected to return Monday night, looking to rectify an uneven start to his season. He threw one touchdown and two interceptions and took eight sacks before his Week 2 injury.
• Cutler is historically strong against the Vikings at Soldier Field, holding a 6-1 record with an average passer rating above 98.
• On whether he views this start as an opportunity to restore confidence: “I don’t ever really worry about that. As a quarterback, I’m just trying to help the guys get first downs.”
• On the Vikings defense: “They got guys on every level that play really well. The more you watch them, the more you realize how well they play together.”
COACH SPEAK | JOHN FOX
• Fox is in his 15th season as a head coach, second with the Bears, with a 126-105 record overall, including 8-7 in the playoffs.
• The former defensive coordinator, with the direction of current DC Vic Fangio, has the injury-riddled Bears defense ranked 12th in yards allowed per game (350.4) and 20th in points allowed (24.1).
• On getting OLB Pernell McPhee back in the lineup: “He combines some explosion as well as strength. He’s pretty relentless, snap to whistle, so those are qualities that are beneficial to anybody that plays up front.”
• On dealing with injuries: “It’s much like the Vikings have had to do. You lose some people, there is a next man up. You have to make adjustments on your roster and plug guys in.”
• On QB Jay Cutler returning: “He’s been out since [Week 2], so we’re excited to have him back.”