Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs hasn't played since suffering a shoulder injury in Week 9. Including the bye week, Briggs has been on the shelf for more than two months. He returned to practice on a limited basis last week but did not play against the Cleveland Browns.
This week, the Bears are optimistic he can play Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"Lance practiced limited today. He did practice with the first group, but practiced in a limited fashion," coach Marc Trestman said today. "I'm optimistic he'll play. How much? We'll see how he feels. I'll be able to better answer that question after Friday's practice and it may even go into Sunday. He did get some work today and I did talk him afterwards and he said he felt pretty good, so we'll see where he is tomorrow."
As with any player who hasn't been on the field in eight weeks, conditioning could be an issue.
"Certainly, he hasn't played football in a long time but Lance is a unique athlete," said Trestman. "It would certainly be exciting to see him out on the field. And how much? Who knows. But it certainly would be good for our football to have him out there and have him playing and if he, we'll see where he is at that point. I haven't talked to any trainers about it. I haven't talked to the doctors about it. We'll do what's best for him to make sure that we keep him safe out there. And we'll go from there."
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall did not practice but Trestman said it was just precautionary.
"We held Brandon out today. He's a little sore in his quad, his hamstring. He'll be fine. I just wanted [to be] precautionary. I expect him to get some work tomorrow."
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. 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.