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Bears HC John Fox confirmed Wednesday from the Scouting Combine that his defense will move to a 3-4 base alignment in 2015. Fox acknowledged that the label often doesn't make a huge difference for the team, which can play with its actual alignments and packages. But it's a bigger deal for IDP owners, who might see a player such as Jared Allen suddenly become a LB after years as a DE. That'll probably be the biggest change. Fox said Wednesday that Willie Young and Lamarr Houston also figure to play OLB, though we'll be a bit surprised if Houston winds up there. When Houston last played in a 3-4 defense in Oakland, he performed well as a DE. And at 6'3, 300 pounds, he certainly seems to be built much better for that spot. Chicago, of course, has plenty of work ahead this offseason to turn around a D that ranked among the league's worst in 2015. We'll see how all the pieces sort out come minicamp and training camp time.

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Bears CB Jaylon Johnson and S Tashaun Gipson landed on the COVID list Sunday, knocking them out for Monday night's game against the Vikings. Johnson is easily Chicago's top corner, so the deactivations can only enhance the matchup for Vikings WRs and QB Kirk Cousins.

The Bears have ruled DL Akiem Hicks (ankle) out for Thursday's game against the Lions. Both starting safeties are questionable. Eddie Jackson (hamstring) remained limited in practice this week after missing the past 2 games. Tashaun Gipson (chest) seems like a surprising inclusion, after the team listed him as a full participant in each practice. DeAndre Houston-Carson and Deon Bush stand by as potential replacements.

Bears DL Akiem Hicks (groin) and S Tashaun Gipson (hip) are active for today's game against the 49ers. The defense will be missing star pass rusher Khalil Mack, though.

Bears OLB Khalil Mack (foot) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Packers. Mack missed practice all week, a step down from last week, when he put in a limited Friday workout. Mack played through that questionable tag, though, and has done so multiple times this season. Also questionable for the Bears defense are: DL Akiem Hicks (groin), CB Duke Shelley (ankle) and S Eddie Jackson (knee). We'll update the statuses for all 4 on Sunday morning.

Bears DT Eddie Goldman (knee) is inactive for today's game against the Browns. That significantly damages the run defense ahead of a matchup with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Bears are also down S Tashaun Gipson (hamstring). DE Akiem Hicks (illness, knee) and S Eddie Jackson (toe) are active. Each entered the day questionable.

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