Bears' Forte seems ready to play; evaluation on White begins - Sports Illustrated

Bears' Forte seems ready to play; evaluation on White begins

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) Star running back Matt Forte all but confirmed Tuesday that he will suit up this week at Green Bay.

Forte said he is able to cut and run at full speed and seemed just about ready to go after missing the past three games because of a knee injury.

The Bears (4-6) visit the Packers (7-3) on Thursday and would obviously love to have the two-time Pro Bowl running back in the lineup, even though rookie Jeremy Langford has played well in his absence.

''I'm excited just to get back out there,'' Forte said. ''Not really a lot of fun watching the games and doing all that and not be able to help your team win, so I'm not really used to doing that. But it's going to be fun to get back out there on the field and help us out. Just looking forward to being out there.''

Rookie receiver Kevin White, meanwhile, sounded like someone who might not play at all this season as the Bears opened a three-week practice window for him.

''I'm not closing the door on anything,'' White said. ''I've just got to be smart with it. If I'm feeling good and I'm ready to go, then I guess we'll have to see.''

White, the No. 7 pick in this year's draft, has spent the season on the physically unable to perform list because of a stress fracture in his left shin. He is still feeling some pain and is not able to run 100 percent. The Bears have until the end of this 21-day period, which began Tuesday, to place the former West Virginia standout on the active roster or season-ending injured reserve.

The Bears would seem to have no real incentive to rush White back, given their record and their long-term vision for him. Coach John Fox insisted their standing in the playoff race would not impact their decision.

''Wherever we are in that three-week window, I can't say that our record will have any affect,'' he said.

The Bears saw White as a potential starter with Alshon Jeffery. But he started experiencing pain in his shin in June during organized team activities. He had a rod inserted in his leg in August after therapy failed to cure his discomfort.

White said he doesn't really feel the rod, although the screws are causing some pain. And while he would like to say he is running at full speed, he acknowledged he is not quite there. He also has to be careful not to push himself too hard.

''Don't want to do something that will set me back,'' White said. ''But don't want to just not do anything at all and not progress. So a little bit of both.''



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