Fridays are lighter practice days than Wednesdays and Thursdays so the fact that Lance Briggs was able to go through the full practice without limitations may not be totally conclusive about the veteran linebacker’s status for Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
But Briggs has been cleared by the necessary doctors and barring any issues within the next 48 hours, the linchpin of a struggling Bears’ defense is expected to start Sunday night.
“I think No. 1, he’s an emotional leader,” said coach Marc Trestman. “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. That’s not the important thing. The important thing is he’s gonna impact our team in the huddle. He’s a fiery leader.”
The Bears clearly can do with another leader, particularly in a position group that has had to start two rookies. Exactly how much impact Briggs can have, however, after missing seven weeks, is problematic.
“I don’t know. I don’t know,” Briggs acknowledged. “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. 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. We reached a lot of goals defensively this last game – held them to 17 points, had takeaways, and held them in check rushing the ball. That’s something to continue to build on.”