With the Chicago Bears in desperate need of a win this week, the team may see the return of one of their key defensive players. Tackle Henry Melton, who missed last week's 21-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers, could be back in action against the Arizona Cardinals, according to ESPN's Michael C. Wright.
Melton fell awkwardly on his shoulder during the first quarter of the Bears' 21-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14. He injured his clavicle on the play and hasn't seen any time on the field since. Melton believes he was held out against the Packers as a precaution, and he's going to try to get back in the lineup against the Cardinals:
"We're going to see (if I can play this week)," Melton said. "We're going to work through practice (Friday), and then we're going to take the next step to see if I'm ready to go. It was rough (missing last week's game). I saw my guys battling out there. I wanted to be out there to make a big play for them, but when you get hurt, you've just got to get your treatment and be kind of a little cheerleader on the sideline for them."
Melton is one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. In 2012, he has compiled 41 tackles, six sacks, four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
The Bears need a win against the Cardinals to keep their sinking playoff hopes afloat. After a 7-1 start to the season, Chicago has lost five of its last six games, falling from a perch atop the NFC North to a scrap for the final Wild Card spot. At 8-6, the Bears are tied with four other NFC teams, and they'll likely need to win out and receive some help to reach the playoffs.
Chicago and Arizona meet Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff is set for noon CT, and the game will be televised on FOX.