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Matt Forte, Pernell McPhee Among Four Bears Starter Not Practicing

Four Bears starters did not practice today, putting their Monday Night Football availability in question, while a team leader on defense is starting to heal up.

For the Chicago Bears, the following players did not practice today: RB Matt Forte (knee), WR Eddie Royal (knee), OLB Pernell McPhee (knee) and C Hroniss Grasu (neck). 

The Bears will conduct one more practice tomorrow before heading to San Diego to face the Chargers on Monday Night Football, so the availability for all four starters will be made clearer on Saturday. That said, Forte, Royala and Grasu are not expected to play, while McPhee is expected to suit up. 

With Forte out, Jeremy Langford will make his first career start in Chicago's backfield. 

"Matt is not coming back. Not this game anyway," Jay Cutler said after today's practice. "We’re going to have to work with the young kid (Langford), and like I said, he makes it easy. His work and his preparation…you develop trust pretty quickly just because the way he holds himself to a certain standard each day in practice.”

The following Bears were limited today in practice: 

TE Zach Miller (shoulder)
OT Jermon Bushrod (shoulder)
ILB Shea McClellin (knee)
CB Bryce Callahan (concussion)
WR Cameron Meredith (ankle)

Bushrod has missed the past month with shoulder and concussion problems and it's unclear if the 30-year-old will finally suit up this week. If not, Charles Leno will make his fifth straight start at left tackle. 

McClellin's return to the field this week is a great sign, although it appears he's likely to sit this week with an eye toward returning next week. 

If Callahan, the club's starting nickelback, is unable to play, the Bears will have a decision to make. Sherrick McManis has struggled in the slot all year and gave up the game-tying touchdown late last week to the Vikings, despite being on the field only eight snaps. Tracy Porter is also an option in the slot, as is Terrance Mitchell. We'll see what direction the Bears go, assuming Callahan isn't cleared before Monday.

LB LaRoy Reynolds (knee) practiced in full.


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