The San Diego Chargers won't have one of their top offensive players for the rest of the season. The Chicago Bears won't have two key ones for at least the near future.
Each team will try to overcome its absences while attempting to earn a much-needed win Monday night.
San Diego (2-6) won't have one of the league's leading receivers, Keenan Allen, because of a lacerated kidney suffered while scoring a touchdown in last week's 29-26 loss in Baltimore. Allen had 67 catches - tied for third-most in NFL history through eight games - for 725 yards and four TDs.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers expects that it will take more than one player to replace Allen's high-level production. Dontrelle Inman, who has 21 catches for 300 yards in 14 career games, is slated to take his starting spot.
"It's not going to be like, 'Hey, who's going to be the next guy who's going to catch 70 the next eight games?' I don't know that that'll happen. It could, but I think it will be more by committee effort," Rivers said.
San Diego also placed running back Branden Oliver (toe) and linebacker Tourek Williams (foot) on season-ending injured reserve. The Chargers might also have a retooled offensive line with Orlando Franklin, King Dunlap and Chris Watt potentially dealing with ailments.
Even with Allen in the lineup, San Diego has endured a four-game losing streak, its longest since 2012. The Chargers haven't dropped five in a row since a six-game slide Oct. 23-Nov. 27, 2011.
They'll get to host a Bears team that's 2-5 during an injury-plagued season and won't have stalwart running back Matt Forte available. Forte hurt his right knee in a 23-20 loss to Minnesota last Sunday, and wide receiver Eddie Royal injured his left.
Coach John Fox said neither player is expected to undergo surgery and could return some time this season. Fox's team has already dealt with injuries to receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), left tackle Jermon Bushrod (shoulder) and safety Antrel Rolle (ankle) among others this season.
Center Will Montgomery (broken leg) hasn't played since Week 4 and No. 7 overall pick Kevin White (shin) has yet to make his NFL debut.
"Nobody comes and rescues you. You have to make do with what you have," Fox said.
Forte was the league's leading rusher through the first six weeks (507 yards) and has 767 all-purpose this season. Royal was second on the team with 26 catches and had 171 yards.
Rookie Jeremy Langford is slated to take over for Forte. The fourth-round draft pick had 46 yards on 12 carries in the loss to Minnesota.
"It's not too big for him. He's very willing; his mindset is to learn," Fox told the team's official website. "I think Stan Drayton, his position coach, has done a tremendous job with him. A lot of it is he's very receptive. I call it football character. He picks things up very well for a young player."
The Bears had opportunities to win each of their last two games but suffered back-to-back losses. They got their game in Detroit into overtime Oct. 18 but went three and out on each of their two possessions in a 37-34 loss.
They held a seven-point lead with 4:55 remaining in their latest defeat but gave up 10 points after that, including a 36-yard field goal as time expired.
The Chargers allowed Baltimore to drive for the game-winning field goal in the final 2:27 this past weekend and have suffered each of their past four losses by eight points or fewer.
"We've had a couple tough breaks that could have gone either way," Rivers said. "I think you've got to just keep believing and keep plugging along. As quickly as we've lost four in a row, we could win four in a row."
Rivers passed for 301 yards and topped 300 for a franchise-best fifth consecutive game. The NFL's leader with 2,753 yards has 13 touchdowns and three interceptions during that streak.
The Bears have yielded the fourth-fewest passing yards per game (214.3) but their 16 TDs allowed through the air are tied for fourth-most. They also have just four interceptions.
The Chargers lead the league with 423.2 total yards per game but are around the middle of the pack with 23.9 points per contest. The Bears are giving up the fourth-most points per game at 28.9.
Chicago has won five of the last six meetings and claimed a 31-20 victory in the most recent Nov. 20, 2011. Rivers and Jay Cutler threw for two touchdowns apiece in that game, but Rivers had two interceptions in the fourth quarter.