Bears' Matt Forte still sore

Updated: September 17, 2012, 6:29 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith said after practice Monday that running back Matt Forte indeed suffered an ankle sprain, but not a high sprain against the Green Bay Packers, and he added the club hasn't ruled him out for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams.

"As far as when he'll be back, I don't know," Smith said. "He looked a lot better today. I was hoping he would look about the way he did today."

Forte didn't participate in Monday's session, and he won't be on the field Wednesday when the team resumes practice, according to Smith. But at the conclusion of the workout on Monday, Forte trotted off the practice field without any noticeable discomfort, and also wasn't wearing a brace or walking boot on the injured right ankle.

Forte suffered the injury during the third quarter of the team's 23-10 loss at Green Bay, and multiple outlets initially reported it as a high ankle sprain, which usually results in a longer recovery period than a normal sprain.

Asked whether Forte would play against the Rams on Sunday, Smith said, "We don't want to get that far."

"He looked pretty good today," he said. "We're not ruling him out of anything just yet. He has a long way to go. I don't want you to start thinking he'll be out there practicing tomorrow; he's not. But we're making progress."

Forte rushed for 31 yards on seven attempts, in addition to catching a team-high four passes for 49 yards before exiting Thursday night's game. Reserve Michael Bush filled in for Forte in the third quarter, and contributed 54 yards on 14 attempts.

Bush will start Sunday if Forte isn't healthy enough to return to the lineup.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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