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Matt Forte might be out 2-6 weeks with sprained ankle

Matt Forte reportedly has more-debilitating high ankle sprain. | Jonathan Daniel~Getty Images

Matt Forte reportedly has the more-debilitating high ankle sprain. | Jonathan Daniel~Getty Images

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Updated: October 16, 2012 6:11AM



The running game was the best thing the Bears had going for them against the Green Bay Packers in their 23-10 loss on Thursday night. But even that facet to their offense is in flux after running back Matt Forte suffered a sprained ankle that could keep him out for 2-6 weeks.

Forte suffered the injury, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported as the more-debilitating high sprain, when he was tackled by Packers safety Charles Woodson near the Packers’ sideline after a 15-yard reception early in the third quarter.

Trainers taped the ankle immediately, but Forte did not return. He finished with 31 yards on seven carries (4.4 yards per carry) and led the Bears with four receptions for 49 yards (12.3 yards per catch).

Big chance for Bush

Michael Bush, who had been splitting time with Forte in the Bears’ first two games, would be the starter if Forte misses any games.

Bush led the Bears with 54 yards rushing on 14 carries (3.9 yards per carry). Armando Allen is the Bears’ No. 3 running back. But they are expected to look for help if Forte is out an extended period.

Kahlil Bell, who played the previous three seasons with the Bears and started three games last year but was waived in the preseason after refusing a pay cut, would be a likely option. But the Bears had not contacted Bell as of late Friday ­afternoon.

Red flag?

The Bears’ offense was so discombobulated against the Packers that not even Earl Bennett could get open. Bennett, normally a reliable safety valve for quarterback Jay Cutler, was targeted six times, but three were intercepted and one was easily deflected. Bennett caught two passes for 21 yards.

Cutler had been intercepted on passes intended for Bennett three times in the previous two seasons (21 games overall).

Temperatures rise

The Bears and Packers brought out the worst in each other Thursday night, with both quarterbacks chirping at teammates after bad plays and a lot of chippy play throughout the second half.

‘‘It was frustration from everybody — we’re all frustrated,’’ said Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, who was credited with a team-high 10 tackles but dropped an interception late in the first half, allowing the Packers to kick a field goal for a 13-0 lead. ‘‘We know we have work to do.’’

Bear faked out

Coach Lovie Smith had no choice but to give credit where it was due after the Packers surprised the Bears with a perfectly executed fake field goal for a 10-0 lead. Tight end Tom Crabtree took a flip from holder Tim Masthay and went 27 yards untouched into the end zone on fourth-and-26.

‘‘It was a good play,’’ Smith said. ‘‘They executed [it] to perfection. Normally when a fake works, it’s a heck of a job by the opponent.’’



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