Chicago Bears’ Stephen Paea and Jay Ratliff practiced today

Sep 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) is tackled by Chicago Bears defensive tackle Stephen Paea (92) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 31-30. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears got some great news that could improve their defensive front as both Stephen Paea and Jay Ratliff participated in a full practice on Friday.

Chicago’s defense is really missing Brian Urlacher calling the shots and making plays in the middle of that linebacker corps as they’ve struggled throughout the year.

Things started to look great as they opened up the season on a strong note, but things started to go down hill as injuries began to pile up. First the team lost defensive tackle Henry Melton for the year, then D.J. Williams, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman followed right behind him.

Defensive tackle’s Stephen Paea and Jay Ratliff remain questionable for Sunday’s game, but it’s a step in the right direction. They’re not officially ruled out yet but Ratliff may be sitting out an extra game just to make sure he’s 100 percent ready.

Paea went down with a toe injury and has missed a couple games while Ratliff could return to action when his former team visits Chicago on December 2nd.

Ratliff was let go by Dallas over a month ago and picked up some interest from several teams in the league shortly after his release. Chicago showing interest and eventually signing Ratliff made sense.

That’s a position they’ve struggled with all season after Melton went down, so they’re looking for the right combination that can step up and help put pressure on the quarterback and stop the run.

Chicago even moved Corey Wootton inside, which allowed second year player Shea McClellin pick up some major playing time with the first team defense.

If this team wants to have any shot at winning or competing for the division title, they’re going to need their front line to step it up during the last half of the season.

Next up, Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings.

Topics: Chicago Bears, Jay Ratliff, Stephen Paea

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