NFC North: Anthony Walters

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears agreed to terms on a two-year contract with safety Ryan Mundy, the club announced.

Mundy appeared in 16 games (nine starts) for the New York Giants last season, where he recorded a career-high 70 tackles, one sack and one interception. The 6-foot-1, 209-pound safety played four years (2009-12) for the Pittsburgh Steelers, starting five combined games during that stretch.

Mundy was selected by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft out of West Virginia.

With Major Wright expect to depart via free agency, Mundy should fill one of the Bears’ safety spots in 2014.

Although Chris Conte struggled last season, the Bears will allow the former third-round draft choice to compete for a starting job in the preseason.

Safeties Craig Steltz and Anthony Walters (restricted) are also free agents.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall returned to practice Friday and participated fully after the club held him out of Thursday’s workout because of his strained quadriceps.

Marshall
In addition, safety Major Wright participated fully Friday after being limited the day before, which means it’s likely he’ll start in Monday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. Linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) did not practice Friday, while quarterback Jay Cutler (ankle) and safety Anthony Walters (groin) took part in a limited capacity.

“Lance didn’t practice today. He was out there running around a little bit,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “Jay was limited, you saw that. Anthony Walters was limited, but looks better. Kyle [Long], Major and Brandon all worked. So that was good.”

For Dallas, cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring) and receiver Dwayne Harris (hamstring) were held out of practice.

Receiver Dez Bryant (back), linebacker Justin Durant (hamstring), tight end Gavin Escobar (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (neck) participated full for the Cowboys, along with linebackers DeVonte Holloman (neck) and Sean Lee (hamstring).
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte missed practice on Wednesday because of a hyperextended right knee, but coach Marc Trestman sounded confident that Forte will play in Sunday’s NFC North divisional game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Forte
Forte
“I’m still optimistic that [Forte will play on Sunday],” Trestman said. “I feel pretty good that he’ll start getting some work tomorrow. We’ll see where he is at, but I’m going in optimistic.”

Forte hurt his knee last weekend in the Bears’ loss to the St. Louis Rams but managed to finish the game, gaining 117 all-purpose yards. Forte, the NFL’s sixth-leading rusher (851 yards) and third in yards from scrimmage (1,265), has been inactive only five times in his six seasons in the league.

Safety Anthony Walters and cornerback Derrick Martin were also sidelined on Wednesday.

Defensive tackles Stephen Paea (toe) and Jeremiah Ratliff (groin) were both limited during the workout. Paea sat out last week after re-injuring his toe in the Bears’ Week 11 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, while Ratliff has yet to make his 2013 debut after signing a one-year deal with the club on Nov. 2.

Trestman officially ruled out linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) and quarterback Jay Cutler (ankle) for the Vikings game.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) and tight end Martellus Bennett (knee) are listed as questionable for Sunday’s road game versus the Washington Redskins. Both players were limited in their participation in practice on Friday.

Bennett
Tillman
Chicago coach Marc Trestman said Wednesday that Tillman is expected to play against Washington after the two-time Pro Bowl defensive back missed the Bears' game last Thursday versus the New York Giants, snapping his streak of 55 consecutive games played.

Bennett has been banged up for much of the season but has managed to start each of the Bears’ six games. He has faced Washington 10 times in his NFL career, catching 21 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe), safety Anthony Walters (hamstring), linebacker James Anderson (back) and safety Major Wright (knee) will be listed as probable for Sunday.

Paea, Walters and Anderson participated fully during Friday’s walk-through, while Wright was limited.

The Bears are eager to get Paea back on the field to help the team’s ailing defensive line. Paea was inactive the last two games but practiced four days this week and is expected to return versus the Redskins at FedEx Field.

Veteran linebacker D.J. Williams suffered a season-ending pectoral injury that will require surgery, and he will be replaced on the Bears’ active roster by practice squad linebacker Jerry Franklin.
CHICAGO – Defensive starters for the Chicago Bears in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns:

LE – Cornelius Washington
DT – Christian Tupou
NT – Zach Minter
RE – Aston Whiteside
WLB – Khaseem Greene
MLB – Blake Costanzo
SLB – J.T. Thomas
LCB – C.J. Wilson
RCB – Demontre Hurst
SS – Brandon Hardin
FS – Anthony Walters

BBAO: Not all hands on deck

December, 27, 2012
12/27/12
7:20
AM ET
We're Black and Blue All Over:

In our fantasy dramas, we expect all hands on deck for our Wild Week 17, in which two of our teams need victories to help ensure a playoff spot while a third is hoping to improve its playoff seed. But that's not the case in real life, and one player who has already been ruled out is Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson.

Woodson (collarbone) has been participating in portions of practice for a month and had hoped to get some regular-season action before the playoffs begin. But the Packers want to extend his recovery time as long as possible and haven't cleared him for contact yet.

The decision sparked concern that Woodson has suffered a reinjury or setback of some kind, but Woodson told Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette that "everything's looking good but I just think the longer you can hold it off, then I guess the better it is. So we're just waiting."

Coach Mike McCarthy called the decision "clearly based on" the recommendation of the Packers' medical staff. If the Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, they'll have a first-round bye in the playoffs -- and yet another week for Woodson to recover.

We'll continue to monitor the situation for the next two weeks. And one programming note: our ESPN.com 2012 season in review will post Thursday afternoon.

Continuing around the NFC North:

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