Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte originally hurt his ankle in Week 2 this year. It forced him to miss the following weeks' contest and he's been dealing with it all season. Last week, he re-injured it on his first carry of the second half and did not return.
He was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, and practiced in full today. On Chicago's official injury report, he's listed as probable and should be ready to go on Sunday in the Bears' must-win game against the Detroit Lions.
"I've been doing acupuncture, chiropractics stuff, soft-issue work, hyperbaric chamber," Forte said today. "Same stuff [I've done in the past] but it seems to work better this time. Since I've sprained it the first time and it hadn't all the way healed, so it's not a lot more damage than like the first time."
Forte said it's all about playing through the pain at this point.
"That's what you've got to do," he said. "I know it's going to be painful especially when you get tackled or do running stuff. But it would just be like the Dallas game where I got hurt on the first play and I just had to get re-taped.
Forte's presence on the field Sunday will be big, as establishing the run against Detroit will be key in getting Chicago's offense, which has struggled of late, back on track. This especially so considering RB Armando Allen (knee) hasn't practiced all week and is listed as questionable.
With the Bears hurting at running back, the club today elevated RB Harvey Unga from the practice squad and waived DE Cheta Ozougwu. If Allen can't go, Unga will likely be activated on Sunday.
Also on the injury report was Brian Urlacher, who practiced on a limited basis for the first time since injuring his hamstring in Week 13. Lovie Smith was encouraged with Urlacher's participation but stopped short of saying he'll play.
"Brian had a limited practice. That's about all I can tell you," said Smith. "If you can tell me how the hamstring works any more than that, I would. And if he was playing of course I wouldn't tell you right now. That's kind of where we're at.
"I wouldn't take off too far on the Brian Urlacher talk. All we can tell you is that he had a limited practice today, which is progress for us. No more than that."
S Chris Conte (hamstring) and LB Blake Costanzo (calf) are out for Sunday's game. Second-year player Anthony Walters will start in place of Conte. Henry Melton (chest) was a full participant today and is listed as questionable. I expect him to play.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.