As the 2012 NFL regular season moves into its fourth week, the Chicago Bears face off against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night football. One of the keys to a Bears victory in this match up will be the availability of star running back Matt Forte.
Forte received a sprained ankle in the week 2 Thursday night loss at the hands of the Green Bay Packers. Wednesday was his first practice back with the Bears since sustaining the injury.
“Based on how it was reacting to the ankle injury last week, I didn’t really swell up in the ankle,” he said. “That’s the big part when you have ankle injuries and the swelling is big. It takes a long time to beat it out. But I didn’t really swell up so I felt like I’d be back pretty soon.”
Although Forte only participated in an individual practice, the progress he has made in the space of a couple of weeks has opened up the serious possibility of him being available for the Monday night showdown at Cowboy Stadium.
Bears fans shouldn’t be to worried that Forte only participated in individual drills, as it is worth noting that due to the Bears playing on Monday night in Dallas, Wednesday’s practice was a shortened one anyway.
Forte remained upbeat about the prospect of him making the trip to Dallas, saying:
“I went through all the routes and everything. I can sprint,” he said. “So I’ll be good to go.”
Head Coach Lovie Smith was as always the voice of reason on Forte’s prospects, acknowledging that he had made an improvement; Smith would not be pushed into guaranteeing that Forte will be available.
“My glass is always half full,” Smith. “We’ve said he’s making progress, which he is, no more than that. I would hold off on … he has a long ways to go still, but he is making progress and hopefully we can get him out there.”
Michael Bush also participated in the brief Wednesday practice session. If the Bears can get both Forte and Bush back on the field for Monday night, they will hold a significant edge in a match up were rushing the ball may well decide the outcome of the game.