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With Cutler out of the lineup, the Bears have lost five straight, after going on a five-game tear before the injury.
Forte, meanwhile, told ESPNChicago.com on Dec. 17 he'd consider returning at less than 100 percent if the team made the postseason. So with the season finale at Minnesota being basically meaningless, it's not likely Forte will look to rejoin his teammates.Forte suffered a Grade 2 sprain of the MCL in his right knee on Dec. 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and prior to that had been unsuccessful in a bid to receive a long-term contract from the organization. Further injury could decrease Forte's value, although the Bears have stated publicly that won't be the case if negotiations continue. "You've got to make that decision personally," Forte said of returning. "I'm not going to really go out there and play unless I'm 100 percent, and I can run straight ahead, sprint and make cuts. As a running back, you have to make people miss. You can't just take on hits and get pounded on. You'll have more injuries to rehab." In other injury news, Smith revealed that linebacker Brian Urlacher suffered a bruised knee in the second half of the team's loss to the Green Bay Packers. Urlacher left the game immediately after suffering the injury in a collision with teammate Lance Briggs, but quickly returned. Urlacher said, "I don't remember" Sunday when asked specifically about what occurred on the play. Backup running back Marion Barber is also recovering from a calf injury sustained on Dec. 18, but appears unlikely to make the team's list of game-day actives because of the performances Sunday of Kahlil Bell and Armando Allen. The Bears will miss the postseason for the fourth time in five years after advancing the NFC title game last season, but Smith stressed that although the mindset is different, there's still something to play for. "We're going to play the guys who give us the best chance to win, period," Smith said. "You want to win and finish out the season the right way. You want to see some of the players that are trying to make an impression. We just want to play, ideally, our best ball this last game and have that lasting impression on our football season. We realize how (the season) has played out. But you want to finish on a high note as much as anything." Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.