From the opening drive of the game, Tom Brady and the Patriots ran the Bears right out of their stadium in a 36-7 beatdown at a snowy Soldier Field, clinching an AFC playoff berth. Linebacker Gary Guyton returned a Johnny Knox fumble 35 yards for a touchdown and intercepted Jay Cutler. The Patriots improved to 10-0 in snow games all-time with Bill Belichick as their coach. 

 

Five others have joined the injured trio of Jonathan Wilhite, Mike Wright and Myron Pryor as Patriots inactive players for today's game in Chicago. 

 

Newcomer Chevis Jackson, a cornerback signed on Friday, is inactive as are WR Taylor Price, RB Thomas Clayton, offensive linemen Rich Ohrnberger and Mark LeVoir. 

 

As expected, on Saturday night the Patriots downgraded three players to out for Sunday's game against the Bears in Chicago — cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, as well as defensive linemen Myron Pryor and Mike Wright. All three have been hampered by injury issues over the last few weeks, with Wilhite dealing with a hip problem, Pryor with a back issue and Wright with a concussion he suffered late last month against the Colts. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes' positive test for performance enhancers was due to amphetamines in a medicine designed to fight attention deficit disorder, according to a report from Comcast New England. Spikes, who was suspended for the rest of the regular season because of the infraction, issued a statement through the team about what happened on Friday. "The substance was a medication that I should have gotten clarification on before taking. It was not a performance enhancer or an illegal drug. The integrity of the game is very important to me.

Here are 10 things worth keeping an eye on in Sunday’s Patriots-Bears game:

WHEN THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BALL



The Bears have ruled linebacker Piso Tinoisamoa out for Sunday's game against the Patriots. Here's their complete injury report:

Did Not Participate
LB Piso Tinoisamoa (knee) Out

Full Participation
LB Nick Roach (back) Questionable

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

The Patriots have three players who did not participate in Friday's practice who have been ruled as questionable for Sunday's game against the Bears in Chicago. Here's the complete injury report:

Did Not Participate
NT Myron Pryor (back) Questionable
CB Jonathan Wilhite (hip) Questionable
DL Mike Wright (concussion) Questionable

Limited Participation
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder/foot) Probable

According to a league source, Patriots rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes has been suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league’s banned substance rule. The suspension was first reported by the Boston Herald.

FOXBORO -- Rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes was again missing from Patriots practice on Friday as the team held its final outdoor practice on a cold and blustery Gillette Stadium field in sweats and shells.

 

Spikes also missed Thursday's practice and the team said the absence was "not injury" related. Safety Patrick Chung returned to practice on Friday after also missing with a non-injury related issue. Also missing Friday were defensive linemen Mike Wright and Myron Pryor and defensive back Jonathan Wilhite. 

 

FOXBORO -- In an effort to bolster depth in their defensive backfield, Patriots coach Bill Belichick confirmed Friday morning before practice that they've brought in defensive back Chevis Jackson. Belichick said they would have a move "later on" Friday. Cornerback Jonathan Wilhite has been battling a hip injury for several weeks and was again missing from practice on Friday.