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Michael Bush officially gets nod to start

Updated: October 23, 2012 6:10AM

Michael Bush will get his chance to prove he’s more than a short-yardage and goal-line running back.

Bush will start against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Soldier Field in place of Matt Forte, who will miss the game because of a sprained ankle, Bears coach Lovie Smith said after practice Friday.

He had been splitting time with Forte in the first two games. Forte had 23 carries for 111 yards and one touchdown and Bush 17 carries for 57 yards and two touchdowns until Forte was injured. But Bush’s main function was in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

‘‘Hopefully I can get people to get that knock off me about not being an every-down back,’’ he said.

Injury report

Forte is the only Bear expected to miss the game. Defensive end Julius Peppers (foot) and linebacker Brian Urlacher (knee) participated in the light workout Friday. Peppers is listed as probable. Urlacher isn’t on the injury report.

Rams running back Steven Jackson is questionable. He missed the second half last week against the Washington Redskins with a groin injury.

Long day?

In his third game back since missing most of last season with a knee injury, right tackle Gabe Carimi said he is ‘‘definitely getting more confident’’ and ‘‘going to start being more aggressive’’ in pass protection. Carimi will face the Rams’ Chris Long, who had 131/2 sacks last season.

‘‘He’s a really good player. He’s relentless and strong,’’ Carimi said. ‘‘He has his own challenges ahead. I do, too. In the NFL, there are always good players.’’

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