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Lance Briggs looking forward to seeing defensive friend

Updated: September 27, 2013 4:51PM



Linebacker Lance Briggs hopes friend and former Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije finds success with the Lions. Just a limited amount on Sunday.

“I hope he plays well, but not well enough to beat us,” Briggs said.

The first matchup with Idonije, who was with the Bears from 2004 to 2012, comes at a sensitive time with defensive tackle Henry Melton out with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The Bears’ depth on the defensive line will be seriously tested, and Idonije definitely could’ve helped.

The Bears wanted Idonije to return, but a deal wasn’t reached. An unfavorable free-agent market led to Idonije signing a one-year deal with the Lions for the veteran minimum.

Idonije isn’t making much of an impact in Detroit. Compared to his time with the Bears, he has played less with the Lions. He has been in on less than 50 percent of their defensive snaps. But starting defensive end Jason Jones’ season-ending knee injury should change that.

“We miss him not only as a teammate but as a friend,” Briggs said. “He’d been here almost as long as me and [cornerback Charles Tillman ]. Obviously we’ve created a great bond with each other. I used to think he looked pretty bad in [No.] 71, but now he looks really bad in 77.”

Lions’ new threat

The Bears will be facing an improved Lions offense, which has benefitted from the addition of running back Reggie Bush. Bush sat out last week with a knee injury but should play Sunday.

“Being around Reggie Bush on a day-to-day basis allows you to know his explosion and how when he hits a hole, he can hit it in a hurry,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, who was with Bush in New Orleans. “So you need to stay in front of Reggie and not allow him that crease to get started. Once he gets started, he’s extremely fast.

Injury report

Tillman (knee, groin) and special-teamer Sherrick McManis (quadriceps) sat out practice again. Coach Marc Trestman said Tillman worked on the side, and he’s hopeful he can do more on Friday.

Backup cornerback Zack Bowman (knee) fully participated after being limited.

The Lions listed 12 players as limited, including receiver Calvin Johnson (knee) and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (knee).

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

Twitter: @adamjahns



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