The Chicago Bears are bracing for the great outdoors, eight days after they weren't, well, great outdoors.
The Bears, coming off a 36-7 loss to New England in a driving snowstorm at Soldier Field, will be back in the elements Monday night when they play the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium, the outdoor venue at the University of Minnesota.
The game was moved there after a heavy snowfall caused the Metrodome roof to collapse last Sunday, leaving the Vikings without a home field.
It's the Vikings' first outdoor home game since 1981.
Cold as the game will be — the temperatures could dip into the single digits — the Bears probably will appreciate the change of scenery. They lost seven of their last eight games at the Metrodome.
Not surprisingly, the Bears consider the bitter cold their kind of weather. They have won 10 consecutive outdoor games in December and January against dome or warm-weather teams.
Still, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler expressed concerns about playing on the rock-hard, frozen surface in Minnesota.
"We don't want to go out there and play on a concrete-type surface," he said, pointing out the concussion risk is greater when playing on a field with no give to it.
The Bears, who have won five of six, are looking to solidify their lead in the NFC North. They are undefeated in the division.
The Vikings are reeling, having lost Brett Favre to a shoulder injury and backup Tarvaris Jackson to turf toe. That leaves rookie Joe Webb as the only healthy option. The Bears already have faced a pair of third-string quarterbacks this season — Miami's and Detroit's — and won both of those games.
Favre, who spent the vast majority of his career in Green Bay, knows how to play in cold weather as well or better than any quarterback in NFL history. He told reporters last week that Webb came to him for some advice on dealing with the elements.
"He was asking me today, 'If I play, the cold, is it gonna ...' and I said, 'You know what? Once you start playing you won't even feel it,'" Favre said.
"I think he'll be cold, but he's got the right mentality and guys love him. You've got to find out what he can do at some point."