Major Wright out vs. Broncos

Updated: December 9, 2011, 3:35 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith officially declared safety Major Wright out for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Having suffered a sprained shoulder in the Bears' loss last week to the Kansas City Chiefs, Wright didn't practice all week, paving the way for veteran Craig Steltz to make his second start of the season.

Wright will be out along with quarterback Jay Cutler (thumb) and running back Matt Forte (knee).

The Bears didn't list any other players on their injury report.

"Major Wright didn't come around as much as we wanted him to," Smith said. "So we have three of our guys that we normally count on that won't play this week. Besides that, we're in pretty good shape; can't wait to get out to Denver and play them."

Steltz filled in last week after Wright's injury, and posted nine tackles. Steltz's only other start of the season came in a Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Steltz generated seven tackles in that game, including five solo stops.

"[Steltz] played well last week," Smith said. "So that gives us a lot more confidence. But we had confidence in him anyway. He's been in that role before. [He's] a good, solid backup that tends to stand up when we ask him to. Craig should be just fine."

A fourth-year veteran, Steltz faced Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow on two occasions in college while at LSU. During Tebow's freshman year at Florida in 2006, the quarterback ran for a touchdown and passed for two more in the Gators' 23-10 win over Steltz's Tigers.

In 2007, Steltz posted a career-high 16 tackles for LSU in his team's 28-24 triumph over the Tigers.

In other injury news, the Broncos listed running back Willis McGahee (knee) as questionable along with receiver Eddie Royal (concussion), who was held out of practice on Friday.

The Broncos listed safeties David Bruton (Achilles) and Quinton Carter (heat cramps) as probable along with offensive tackle Ryan Clady (knee), running back Jeremiah Johnson (ankle), linebacker Von Miller (thumb) and defensive tackle Mitch Unrein (back).

Miller and Clady were full participants in Friday's practice session.

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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