Briggs’ status still up in air for Bears
December 20, 2013 (AP) – The status of injured Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs will remain uncertain until just before game time Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Briggs is questionable for Sunday’s game, although all indications are he’ll be able to play. On Friday Briggs went through his first full practice since fracturing his left shoulder Oct. 20. Briggs practiced Wednesday and Thursday on a limited basis.
“I’m very optimistic,” coach Marc Trestman said Friday. “Again, he practiced for three days. He’s been cleared by the doctors.
“We’ll see where he’s at. But I wouldn’t want to say that he’s gonna play, he’s gonna start. I think that’s still 48 hours away.”
Rookie Khaseem Greene has played in Briggs’ weak side linebacker spot since the injury occurred. Briggs is the defense’s signal caller, so team’s hope is getting him back could restore some stability to a defense ranked last in the league against the run.
“I think No. 1 he’s an emotional leader,” Trestman said. “He’s a tremendous football player. He’s been out of it for a while. There may be some rust, there may not be. We’ll see how it goes.”
During an eight-game period starting with Briggs’ injury, the Bears have given up 190.2 yards rushing per game. Prior to his injury, they allowed 102 yards rushing per game.
Other factors have also been involved, such as season-ending injuries to defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins, middle linebacker D.J. Williams and cornerback Charles Tillman.
The Bears will be facing the league’s top rushing offense and NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy Sunday.
Briggs did not comment Friday on his status, but Thursday said he thinks he can make a difference with his tackling ability.
“I like to think I’m a guy who’s going to get in his gap and when the opportunity’s there, try to make it,” he said. “Hopefully I can help the team. I don’t want to get out there and hurt us.
“But at this point right now, these last couple games, the defense has been playing better and better.”
The Bears defense held Cleveland to 93 yards rushing last week and only 17 of the Browns’ 31 points came against the defense.
“That’s something to continue to build on,” Briggs said.