Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Monday just 24 hours after Detroit's thrilling win on the road (33-28) over the New Orleans Saints.
It was a particularly special win for Campbell, who was the assistant head coach under coaching mentor Sean Payton for five seasons in New Orleans. Here are the key questions to come out of Monday's media session:
What is the update on the knee injury suffered by Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow?
Ragnow was injured in the second quarter Sunday and did not return to the game. Right guard Graham Glasgow shifted over to center and rookie Colby Sorsdal played the majority of the rest of the snaps at right guard.
"I feel like more than anything we got good news but that doesn't mean he's going to be available this week," Campbell said.
Ragnow's status will be updated throughout the week and he'll obviously be missed if he can't go Sunday in Chicago. Campbell has a ton of confidence in Glasgow, who stepped in Sunday and played great. Glasgow has been so valuable to this team starting games at all three interior spots this year because of injury.
"It's exactly why we got him," Campbell said of Glasgow. "You don't want it for this moment, but it also is for this moment. It's valuable to be able to have him here and we do have a lot of confidence in him playing center. Thank god we got him."
What does Campbell think of the rookie season tight end Sam LaPorta is having?
LaPorta notched nine receptions for 140 yards and one touchdown in Detroit's win over the Saints, becoming the sixth rookie tight end in NFL history and first since 1995 to produce a game with 140 receiving yards.
Campbell played tight end in this league and knows how hard of a position it is for a rookie to come in and have consistent production, though he joked he wouldn't know anything about the receiving production as he was known more for his toughness and blocking at the position.
"It is not easy," Campbell said. "It's not easy to play this position as a rookie and do all that we're asking him to do. Because he does it all. It's in the run game, it's protection and you see the pass production. That's what everybody sees, right? The numbers and separation. But no one has any true idea of all the other stuff he does for us. That's a tight end. That's what a tight end does and I'm glad he's ours.
"He just keeps growing. He doesn't say a word. Just goes to work. He's hard on himself but he never gets down and never feels sorry for himself when he makes a mistake. It drives him. I know this, at critical times in the game he just always shows up. It's not easy but he's making it look easy, I know that."
LaPorta now has 64 receptions for 679 yards and six touchdowns on the season. He's the first tight end in NFL history to produce at least 60 receptions, 600 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns through the first 12 games of a player's career. Only Justin Jefferson, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., Marques Colston and Anquan Boldin have accomplished that feat and they are all wide receivers.
Could linebacker Alex Anzalone return this week?
The Lions didn't have the services of their defensive captain and leading tackler this week in New Orleans because of a hand injury he suffered against the Packers on Thanksgiving, but the good news is Anzalone could be back in the lineup this week against the Bears.
"I think there's a chance, I do," Campbell said.
Campbell really complimented the way Jack Campbell, Derrick Barnes, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Malcolm Rodriguez stepped up and played at a high level in Anzalone's absence. He said they played winning football as a room.
"Barnes was all over the field and played fast and physical," Campbell said. "I thought it was one of the best games Jack has played. Played well in space. JRM (Reeves-Maybin) executed at a high level and we have to find a way to get him out there. And Rodrigo (Rodriguez) helped us out as well. They all had a hand in it and the room was good for us."
Another other injury updates?
Defensive lineman Alim McNeill left the game a couple times Sunday dealing with an injury and Campbell said he's banged up and dealing with some things that could keep him out of the lineup Sunday in Chicago. Campbell said they'll know more as the week progresses.