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Matt Forte believes he’ll play in finale despite injury

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown with teammate Eric Weems (14) against ArizonCardinals during first half

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown with teammate Eric Weems (14) against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

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Updated: January 25, 2013 6:21AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. — For the third time this season, running back Matt Forte didn’t finish a game because of an injured right ankle. Though he missed one start, Forte doesn’t intend to miss another.

“I can’t see myself missing next week,” Forte said.

Forte was having one of his strongest games, gaining 85 yards on 11 first-half carries, including a four-yard touchdown. But an opponent rolled on his ankle after a three-yard run early in the third quarter, and Forte left the game.

He was in a walking boot after the game.

“Frustrating,” Forte said. “But I just got to get healthy for next week. I would have liked to finish the game and get over 100 yards and all that stuff.”

The Arizona Cardinals have the league’s worst run defense, and Forte paced the Bears early, averaging nearly eight yards per carry.

“The offensive line did a great job,” Forte said. “With running games like that, you can make moves in the open field and get extra yards.”

That was important because the Bears had to re-insert Gabe Carimi at right tackle with Jonathan Scott (hamstring) out. Carimi, though, had a fine performance.

Forte initially injured his right ankle in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers, and he missed the next game against the St. Louis Rams. He said he was just starting to feel 100 percent.

“It’s not the worst I’ve felt,” Forte said. “But it’s the third time, so it’s getting a little aggravating.”

With Forte sidelined, Kahlil Bell and Armando Allen combined for 56 rushing yards.

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