A big game will be needed from the Chicago Bears defense on Thursday night if they want to take down the Dallas Cowboys. Though the teams have the same record (6-6), it feels like the visit has a number of matchup advantages. Every man available would be needed to pull off an upset against what is becoming a desperate team after two-straight losses. So Tuesday news wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

Even as people anticipate the return of Akiem Hicks in Week 15, more troubling updates have arrived elsewhere on defense. Cornerback Prince Amukamara suffered a hamstring injury in the win over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. He has not practiced for two days and is looking more and more like a longshot to play on Thursday night. The timing of this couldn’t be worse given the Cowboys boast the #1 passing attack in the league led by Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb.

If Amukamara can’t go, it will fall to second-year man Kevin Toliver to pick up the slack. Not exactly a situation this defense wanted to be in with such a crucial game at hand.

Losing Amukamara at this point would be difficult. Though he’s not having his best year, allowing 44 completions including two touchdowns and a 105.7 passer rating, he’s still been steady in coverage. That dependability is so valuable against such a dynamic and explosive receiving corps. It’s possible the team is resting him as much as they can in hopes the hamstring heals enough to let him play. However, this type of injury is notorious for taking time to recover.

Amukamara loss will be tough for Chicago Bears defense

The fact that veteran Sherrick McManis is already on injured reserve with a groin issue makes this even worse. Chicago might be leaning on a lot of inexperience in this game. Not only with Toliver but rookie 6th round pick Duke Shelley as well.