Morning Dump

By Ernie Padaon

Happy Friday!!! Enjoy your dump:

If injuries continue to hinder established veterans and backups, the lineup for Sunday’s game at Chicago will read something like this: left tackle Brandyn Dombrowski, left guard Scott Mruczkowski, center Nick Hardwick, right guard Stephen Schilling (or newcomer Tony Moll) and right tackle Jeromey Clary.

With four straight wins and a big leap back into contention, the Bears will try to keep the run going when they host San Diego on Sunday. The Chargers, meanwhile, hope to stop a four-game slide and start building some momentum after some close losses.

The Bears, who are entrenching themselves in the NFC wild-card picture, haven’t lost since Week 5; the Chargers, who are trying to hang in their divisional race, haven’t won since Week 5. Regularly pummeled by the Bolts back in his AFC West days — he was 1-4 against them — Chicago QB Jay Cutler can help short-circuit San Diego’s season by getting the best of former antagonist Philip Rivers.

Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers, nursing a tender knee, looked ‘‘good and fresh’’ in practice Thursday, according to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, and is expected to play Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. Considering the state of the Chargers’ offensive line, Peppers would likely get out of traction to play.

Anyone who watched the defensive end slide inside Sunday against the Lions would agree. On four plays as a three technique, or under tackle, Peppers had a sack, a quarterback hit and a pressure.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — We know the combination of strep throat and a bum ankle wasn’t enough to slow down Devin Hester in the return game.

The Bears have climbed back into the playoff race with four straight wins, including arguably their best one of the season last week against the Lions. They’ve done it with defense, the Devin Hester-led return game and a steady diet of Matt Forte. But Jay Cutler also deserves credit for playing more under control.