Bears stretched thin at linebacker after Danny Trevathan suspension

If recovered from a pectoral injury, second-year linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski would likely be the next man up for Chicago with Danny Trevathan suspended for Monday night. Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears caught a break when the league reduced inside linebacker Danny Trevathan's suspension to one game for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay's Davante Adams last Thursday.

One of Chicago's best defensive players, Trevathan looks fully recovered from the torn patellar tendon that prematurely ended his 2016 season. The veteran linebacker played all 55 defensive snaps in Week 4 versus the Packers and was credited with a game-high 13 tackles.

Trevathan's return has been great news for the Bears, who lost team captain Jerrell Freeman (injured reserve) to a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in the season opener.

But Trevathan still has to serve his one-game suspension and is unavailable for the Bears' Monday Night Football home game against the Minnesota Vikings, a development that puts extra stress on the middle of the defense.

So where do the Bears turn with Trevathan and Freeman sidelined? The team got back to practice Wednesday; here is how Chicago's inside linebacker depth chart looks:

Nick Kwiatkoski: He is the wild card. The second-year linebacker is the top reserve of the bunch, but he sustained a pectoral injury in Week 2 that knocked him out of the past two games. The difference here is that -- unlike with Freeman -- Chicago never placed Kwiatkoski on injured reserve, meaning at some point the Bears expect him back. Whether he's ready this week remains to be seen, but Kwiatkoski is the top choice to step in at ILB when healthy.

Christian Jones: He started alongside Trevathan at Lambeau Field last Thursday and made five tackles in 28 plays on defense. He is likely to start again against the Vikings, and he'll have to play more snaps. That shouldn't be a huge problem for Jones, who made 20 career starts from 2014-16. Jones registered 98 total tackles in each of his first two NFL seasons but has since been a reserve player.

John Timu: Timu, who has seven career starts, played 19 snaps on defense in the blowout loss at Green Bay. He has pretty good instincts at inside linebacker and actually made his first career start against Minnesota in 2015. Timu led the Bears defense with nine tackles that game.

Jonathan Anderson: He played exclusively on special teams (18 snaps) in Week 4. He started three games for the Bears as a rookie in 2015 but appeared in only eight games last season on special teams. Anderson was on the practice squad in Week 1.