Bears DT Henry Melton calls Lions ‘dirty team’
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org December 26, 2012 10:04PM
CHICAGO, IL - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Henry Melton of the Chicago Bears poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Updated: January 28, 2013 4:02PM
Asked what he expects Sunday from the Detroit Lions in a make-or-break game for the Bears, defensive tackle Henry Melton used the word ‘‘dirty’’ several times.
‘‘They’ve always been a dirty team since I’ve been here,’’ Melton said.
That would be four years of dirtiness, which includes some fine-filled games.
‘‘They’re going to be looking for cheap shots and all that mess,’’ said Melton, who was named to the Pro Bowl on Wednesday. ‘‘We’ve just got to hold our composure and play the game we know.’’
With that history in mind, the Bears are 100 percent certain the 4-11 Lions would love to eliminate them from the playoff race. The Bears must defeat the Lions and need the Green Bay Packers to defeat the Minnesota Vikings to advance to the playoffs.
‘‘They’re disappointed in their season, so they’d like nothing more than to make us disappointed for the rest of the year,’’ quarterback Jay Cutler said.
Melton called center Dominic Raiola the Lions’ biggest trash-talker.
‘‘He’s old, and he just talks,’’ Melton said. ‘‘He’s more just cuss words. . . . He’ll throw some cheap shots in there, and then he’ll say some bad words.’’
Running backs Matt Forte (ankle) and Armando Allen (knee) were held out of practice.
Even though this is the third time this season Forte has hurt his right ankle, coach Lovie Smith sounded optimistic that he would be OK for Sunday.
‘‘His ankle is looking pretty good,’’ Smith said. ‘‘He’s pretty encouraged by what’s happened.’’
Melton said he hopes to play against the Lions after missing the last two games with a collarbone injury. He said that sitting out Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals was more precautionary and that he wanted to go.
‘‘It’s pretty good at the moment,’’ Melton said. ‘‘We’re going to go out there and test it out again and see how it feels this week and hopefully give it a go.’’
◆ Linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring), cornerback Charles Tillman (ribs, elbow), free safety Chris Conte (hamstring) and linebacker Blake Costanzo (calf) also were held out of practice.
Smith described Tillman as dealing with soreness, but he said Conte, who pulled his hamstring against the Cardinals, will be out awhile.
As for Urlacher, Smith said he is getting better but still wasn’t able to do anything at practice.
◆ Reserve safety Craig Steltz said his rehab will last three to four months after he needed surgery for a chest injury.