Lance Briggs expects to play

  • Michael C. Wright [ARCHIVE]
  • ESPNChicago.com | November 29, 2012

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Slowed by a sore ankle, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs doesn't "plan on missing" Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks, and returned Thursday to the practice field along with cornerback Charles Tillman while Matt Forte said he expects to play despite his ankle injury.

The Bears ruled out Devin Hester, who suffered a concussion on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, and guard Chris Spencer, who injured his knee.

Briggs left near the end of the win over the Vikings, missed practice on Wednesday and was listed on the club's official injury report with an ankle injury, before coming back for Thursday's session at Halas Hall to participate in a limited capacity.

"I feel good, getting better every day, modern medicine," Briggs said. "In my short, little career, I guess I've missed a couple of games. I don't plan on missing this week."

A 10-year veteran, Briggs has missed just four games during his career, but he has played in every game for the Bears since 2010. Briggs joked his secret to good health has been drinking apple juice very morning, "orchard style," he said.

"I just have been blessed. I feel lucky, you know?" Briggs explained as he knocked on the lectern. "(I'm) one of the guys that has made it 10 years and hasn't missed many games."

Briggs leads the team in tackles (80), including six for losses. He's also has three quarterback pressures, seven pass breakups and two interceptions to go with a pair of forced fumbles. Veteran Geno Hayes worked in Briggs' spot Wednesday at practice.

Tillman also returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday because of a foot injury that isn't expected to keep him out of action against the Seahawks. Tillman participated on a limited basis.

In other injury news, the Bears gave linebacker Brian Urlacher his customary day off Thursday while Alshon Jeffery (knee) remained sidelined. Tight end Kellen Davis (ankle) returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's workout.

"It'll be a while for Spencer," head coach Lovie Smith said. "We held out Brian Urlacher; he should be good to go tomorrow and Alshon Jeffery of course is out. The encouraging thing was the rest of the guys were able to at least do something on a limited basis. They made a lot of progress. Hopefully they'll continue to do that. We'll need everyone."

Forte practiced for the second consecutive day and said he'll handle his most recent ankle ailment similar to the way he recovered from a Week 2 ankle sprain against the Green Bay Packers.

"I've been doing a lot of different stuff, seeing the chiropractors, working on it, sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber and all that stuff," Forte said. "That seems to work pretty well. So I'll just continue to do what I did last time when I had the ankle injury."

When asked if he expects to play Sunday, Forte said: "I do."

Urlacher doesn't expect Briggs to miss Sunday's matchup with the Seahawks, and explained the chemistry they share having played alongside one another for nearly 10 seasons.

"We have our little lingo that we use when we talk back and forth," Urlacher said. "It'll be different (if Briggs can't play) because I'm used to having him in there all the time. It'll be different, but I don't see that being an issue."

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