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Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Matt Forte likely not available Sunday

By Michael C. Wright
ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Bears coach Lovie Smith stopped short of ruling him out, but running back Matt Forte shook his head 'no' when asked specifically whether he'd be available Sunday for the team's matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.

"It's a process, you know," Forte said. "Injuries just don't heal overnight."

Sidelined with a Grade 2 MCL sprain after Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson hit him in the knee on Dec. 4, Forte revealed he took a PRP injection to speed the healing process. Although he's progressing, Forte said he feels better "but not good enough to" face the Seahawks Sunday at Soldier Field.

Smith, meanwhile, remained elusive about Forte's potential return.

"I wish I could [elaborate more]," Smith said. "Progress [is] being made. He's better today than he was yesterday. I'm not trying to run around your question, but that's about all I can give you. He's doing more things. He's looking better. But that's about all we can go on."

A fourth-year veteran, Forte needs just 15 yards rushing to reach 1,000 for the second consecutive season and third time in his career. Forte came into his last outing leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,475 yards).

In other injury news, Smith said the team held out both defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Lance Briggs, and cornerback Charles Tillman because of "bumps and bruises" from the loss at Denver.

Tillman is also recovering from an injured knee.

Quarterback Jay Cutler and defensive tackle Henry Melton were also held out.

Safety Major Wright appeared to be working with the team during drills Wednesday inside the Walter Payton Center, but Smith indicated the second-year veteran's status for Sunday is undetermined.

Edwin Williams participated in a limited capacity along with Wright.

"We're trying to get all of our players back, the players that have helped us win games," Smith said. "The guy [Craig Steltz] that's replaced Major has played outstanding ball. So we need to get Major back, but we'll be OK if he's not."

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.