Brian Urlacher was back practicing in a helmet and pads on Friday for the first time since pulling a hamstring late in the Dec. 2 to loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Soldier Field. But his return to the middle linebacker spot this Sunday remains officially doubtful.
Urlacher sprinted away from questions with the requisite, Got to go get treatment, and that is still the case with an injury that has cost him three games already and has thrown his Chicago future under a cloud.
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He was able officially to practice on a limited basis, which is progress, said coach Lovie Smith. Were going to look at how he moved around Friday and see how he feels after today.
Urlacher and the Bears had hoped he would be able to take the field for what now is a make-or-break game against the Detroit Lions. But Urlacher did not take part in the light work on Wednesday or Thursday and although Smith said Urlacher is the level and type of player who would not need practice to be game-ready, a hamstring injury is susceptible to re-injury.
Running back Armando Allen remained out of practice with a knee injury and will not be ready for Detroit. Linebacker Blake Costanzo (calf) and safety Chris Conte (hamstring) also did not practice again and will miss the Lions.
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But running back Matt Forte, who employed a multitude of treatments including acupuncture to heal his sprained ankle, is expected to be full go for the Lions.
Same with Jonathan Scott, back starting at right tackle after missing the Arizona game with a hamstring injury.
The Detroit Lions practiced on Friday without wide receiver Calvin Johnson, resting ankle and knee pains. Johnson will play Sunday in his quest to get the last 108 yards he needs to post the NFLs first 2,000-yard receiving season.
Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was given a veterans day off from work and defensive tackle Sammie Hill (foot) did not practice.
But tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain, was able to get some practice time, as was safety Louis Delmas (knee).