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Lance Briggs might play Sunday against the Eagles

Updated: January 18, 2014 6:29AM



Lance Briggs (fractured shoulder) will practice this week, but the Bears won’t decide until Friday whether the linebacker will play Sunday in Philadelphia.

“I’m reasonably optimistic,” coach Marc Trestman said, “but it’s going to be through the three days of practice before a decision’s made.”

Briggs has missed seven games since suffering his injury Oct. 20 against the Redskins. He said Friday that he had been cleared to practice but implied that he has not been cleared to play.

Briggs, who hasn’t worn a sling for about a month, has said he plans on returning this season.

Against Cleveland, the rush defense improved, allowing only 93 yards after six weeks of yielding an average of 203.3 yards.

“Our run defense was a little better,” Trestman said. “Our on-the-job training with our young linebackers was better.”

Mic check

The Bears had trouble with their coaching headsets on Jay Cutler’s first interception Sunday and again in the first half, forcing a timeout. Trestman said he couldn’t call the play in to Cutler’s earpiece about six times.

He said Cutler was “not going to make an excuse” and that the problem “shouldn’t affect” the play. But he admitted it “made it a little more chaotic.”

This and that

Trestman was annoyed by the seven penalties, particularly Alshon Jeffery’s two pre-snap flags.

“We’re not a big shift-and-motion team, and when we do, we have to do a better job of it,” he said. “We’ll start on Wednesday focusing on that.”

On his weekly radio show, Cutler said the Bears will seek clarification from the league on Jeffery’s fourth-and-1 false start. Cutler said that Jeffery “wasn’t going forward” before going in motion.

◆ Asked whether Stephen Paea, who has been battling a turf toe injury, would play more than the 15 plays he logged Sunday, Trestman simply said he would continue to be part of the defensive tackle rotation with Jeremiah Ratliff and Corey Wootton.

Ratliff had three quarterback hits and a tackle for loss in his 44 snaps.

Matt Forte’s 127 rushing yards Sunday gave him over 100 in three straight games for the first time in his career.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley



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