Edholm’s Early Edition (Week 9); It’s a battle of banged-up Bears, Packers on Monday (Shutdown Corner)

If you scoffed at last week’s schedule of games coming in, as we did, consider this: No Week 9 NFL game matches up two teams that are currently in the projected playoff field. Kind of stunning. That said, there are some important games on the schedule that will further propel contenders to the forefront and knock back a few pretenders out of the mix.
Here’s an early look at this week’s slate of games, in order of importance:
1. It’s a testament to the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers to be where they are considering their injuries this season, although the Bears’ wounds are far more fresh than the host Packers’ in their matchup on Monday night. The Bears will have to go again without Jay Cutler (replaced again by Josh McCown ), and they might be starting their first four 2013 draft picks this weekend — offensive linemen Kyle Long and Jordan Mills and possibly linebackers Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene . Aaron Rodgers has beaten the Bears the past six times he has faced them, including the 2010 NFC title game, and he’ll be attacking a secondary that has been smoked repeatedly this season. But don’t forget about the burgeoning Packers run game: Rookie back Eddie Lacy leads the league in rushing yards over the past four weeks with 395

Bills QB Lewis 50-50 to play Sunday (The Associated Press)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Thad Lewis has missed practice Wednesday because of sore ribs and is ”50-50” to play Sunday against the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, coach Doug Marrone says. Rookie Jeff Tuel and free-agent addition Matt Flynn split the fir..

Former Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints coach Bum Phillips

Former Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints coach Bum Phillips

As a tough talking, Stetson hat and cowboy boot wearing Texan, Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips became a coaching legend long before he led the Houston “Luv Ya Blue” Oilers. But above his larger than life personality and his NFL coaching career that spanned both the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints, Phillips was best ..

New Orleans Saints WR Nick Toon’s football roots start with his dad Al and the

Nick Toon expects that during pregame warmups Sunday at MetLife Stadium, he’ll sneak a peek up at the mezzanine. “I know exactly where,” he said. It’s the spot where his father Al’s name is displayed in the Jets’ Ring of Honor, commemorating an eight … BILL HABER/AP Nick Toon (l.) may catch passes for Saints ..