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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs returned to the practice field Thursday and expects to face the Washington Redskins on Sunday at Soldier Field.
"I feel good, very good about playing this week," Briggs said. "That's what I'm working toward. Wish I could have played last week, but new week, new opportunity."
The Bears listed Briggs as having limited participation.
Briggs sprained his left ankle two weeks ago against the Carolina Panthers and sat out Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Although backup linebacker Brian Iwuh performed well in place of Briggs, the presence of the five-time Pro Bowler is critical for the Bears' defense, according to middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.
"Getting another All-Pro back on the field always helps your defense," Urlacher said. "We play pretty well together, and I think we play off each other pretty well.
"Brian did a good job last week filling in for Lance, but Lance is Lance. He does what he does, and he does it better than anybody in the NFL. We need him back out there."Briggs is glad to be back, but like many players he's not happy with the league's new crackdown on hits. Players don't understand how they're supposed to ease up when their job is to deliver the hardest hit they can and maybe even jar the ball out of the opponent's arms. "If a bunch of growing men are running at each other at full speed, what do you expect?" Briggs said. "Plays aren't made in the NFL for being nice. Plays are made in the NFL for being violent. That's the way the game has been played. That's the way it's always going to be played. And to take that element out of the game, to me it's not football." Briggs said he might alter his approach if he gets fined. Until then, he won't change anything.
Urlacher (groin), Danieal Manning (ribs), Chris Harris (knee) Major Wright (hamstring) were also limited in practice Thursday, but cornerback Zack Bowman remained sidelined with a right foot sprain.
Meanwhile, offensive guard Roberto Garza (knee) worked on the side with a member of the teams' training staff. Garza underwent a scope last week and will not be available until after the Bears come off their bye week.
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.