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Grateful Josh McCown doesn’t want to look too far ahead

Updated: January 30, 2012 10:34AM

Coming off his first NFL start in nearly four years, quarterback Josh McCown isn’t looking too far ahead as he prepares for the season finale against the Vikings.

McCown, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, said he’s grateful to the Bears for believing in him and providing him with a chance no other team would.

“For me, I believe in doing things the right way,’’ McCown said Wednesday. ‘‘And a team gives you an opportunity when no one else would, and you certainly have to give that a long, hard look. To think that I would walk out of here and say, ‘Thanks for having me.’

“It wouldn’t be that easy.”

McCown, 32, was out of the league in 2009, and he played in the UFL last season. In August, he was signed by the 49ers but released just weeks later.

He helped coach a high school team just outside of Charlotte, N.C., before the Bears signed him after their waiver claim for Kyle Orton wasn’t fulfilled.

Coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo have expressed an interest in McCown returning next season as Jay Cutler’s backup.

Asked if he would try to find a starting job, McCown said, “I don’t know if I would entertain that right now. I like the guys in this locker room. All that stuff could change, so I don’t want to speculate.”

Injury update

Linebacker Brian Urlacher, who suffered a knee injury against the Packers, did not practice. Defensive end Julius Peppers was rested. Running back Marion Barber (calf) and tight end Kellen Davis (illness) also didn’t practice.

For the Vikings, quarterback Christian Ponder, who suffered a head injury against the Redskins last week, practiced and is expected to start Sunday, coach Leslie Frazier said.

Bears lock up Williams

The Bears signed guard Edwin Williams to a two-year extension. Williams, acquired on waivers in 2010, has started the last six games at left guard after Chris Williams suffered a season-ending dislocated wrist.

Contributing: Mark Potash

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