Not the same team
The Lions who will face the Chicago Bears on Sunday are not even close to the same team that lost to the Bears 48-28 on Oct. 4 at Soldier Field. Detroit has lost eight starters since then to injury four on offense, four on defense. Seven of them had their seasons end prematurely when they were placed on injured reserve.
Injured quarterback Matthew Stafford wont play and neither will tight end Brandon Pettigrew, running back Kevin Smith and right guard Stephen Peterman. On defense the starting lineup has been juggled many times since them. Three who started against the Bears defensive end Copeland Bryan, cornerback Will James and safety Ko Simpson have been placed on injured reserve. Linebacker Larry Foote (foot), another starter, is unlikely to play either.
Lions coaches will not use injuries as an excuse and we respect that. But they have taken major hits. Would they have won more games? Maybe a few. But finishing a season with 17 players on injured reserve (six of them are defensive backs) has revealed a lack of depth.