Friday, December 30, 2011
Bears' Marion Barber doubtful
By Michael C. Wright
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears running back Marion Barber missed Friday's workout with a calf injury and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game at Minnesota, which means Kahlil Bell likely will make his third career start.
A seventh-year veteran who has rushed for 422 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games, Barber declined comment during the team's open locker-room period.
"Marion Barber still was not able to practice today," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "The rest of our guys were able to do some things. We'll let it go right up until [game time] with [Barber]. Besides that, we're in great shape. Last practice, last game, having an opportunity to start the New Year off right. All of those things are in play this week."
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (knee) returned to practice Friday, along with tight end Kellen Davis (illness).
The team listed Urlacher as questionable for the season finale. Guard Chris Spencer (back), defensive end Corey Wootton (concussion), receiver Devin Hester (ankle), and linebackers Nick Roach (shin) and Lance Briggs (ankle) are probable.
"It's always good to have our main guy out there," Smith said of Urlacher. "[I] didn't see any issues with him today. All of the guys want to finish up strong, [and] of course Brian is a big part of that."
For the Vikings, guard Anthony Herrera (back) and safety Jamarca Sanford (shoulder) are probable, along with cornerbacks Asher Allen (shoulder/concussion) and Benny Sapp (shoulder), and quarterback Christian Ponder (concussion).
Minnesota listed tight end Mickey Shuler (ankle) as doubtful.
Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.