While most of the attention in the Metrodome this Sunday centers around one running back – Viking Adrian Peterson – some concern will be on the “other” back on the field – Matt Forte.
Forte was forced out of the St. Louis game with a hyperextended knee and did not practice on Wednesday, sitting out along with defensive backs Derrick Martin (hamstring) and Anthony Walters (groin). Forte is averaging more than 100 combined yards per game for his career (95 per in his 10 games against the Vikings) and his offense is nothing short of critical to keeping his Minnesota counterpart off the field.
“I’m still optimistic,” coach Marc Trestman said. “I feel pretty good that he’ll start getting some work tomorrow, we’ll see where he’s at but I’m optimistic about that.”
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Equally critical to stopping Peterson is the state of the Bears interior defensive line. Tackles Stephen Paea (toe) and Jeremiah Ratliff (groin), who has not played in a game in more than a calendar year, were limited in practice. Trestman sounded considerably less optimistic about either of those potential aids for the run defense.
“Jeremiah has been a starter in this league and has been a highly effective player in this league,” Trestman said. “We don’t really know where he’s at right now. But we’re feeling good in some of the things we’re seeing. We feel like he can make a difference for us. He’s certainly fitting in with our locker room well.
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“And Stephen we know has been a starter here and has had this lingering issue with his toe. He got some work today and we’ll know a little bit more as we proceed during the week.”
Peterson did not practice on Wednesday, bothered by a sore groin. Also out of practice for the Vikings: cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes (concussion) and Josh Robinson (chest); tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot) and wide receiver Joe Webb (concussion).
Defensive tackle Kevin Williams was limited because of a quad injury.