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Matt Forte wants to play in the Pro Bowl

“I think anybody who makes Pro Bowl their first time would like go out there play” Matt Forte said. “I

“I think anybody who makes the Pro Bowl their first time would like to go out there and play,” Matt Forte said. “I was concerned about not being able to play in it, being that it was my first time. But it all worked out.” | Rick Osentoski~AP

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Updated: February 4, 2012 11:44AM



Running back Matt Forte is focused more on his short-term rather than his long-term future.

As in he wants to heal, pass the team’s physical in about three weeks, then play in his first Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

“I think anybody who makes the Pro Bowl their first time would like to go out there and play,” Forte said. “I was concerned about not being able to play in it, being that it was my first time. But it all worked out.”

Forte, who received coach Lovie Smith’s blessing to play in the NFL’s all-star game, was chilly in his comments about his contract status.

Told that general manager Jerry Angelo had talked about a strong effort to sign him to an extension, Forte quipped, “Of course, he’s going to say that.”

“A deal didn’t get done,” Forte said. “He can say whatever he wants to say about effort and all that stuff, but it didn’t get done. So we’ll see what happens.”

Before his knee injury, Forte was among the league leaders in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage. Despite missing the last four games, Forte finished 16th in rushing yards, three shy of 1,000 on the season.

Forte didn’t have much to offer when asked about the franchise tag. The projected cost is $7.7 million, which would eat into the division-high $20 million in cap space the Bears are projected to have.

Forte reiterated comments from his agent, Adisa Bakari.

“My agent told me the longer we wait,” Forte said, “the harder it’s going to get to do.”

Forte figured his value has only gone up because his knee injury isn’t serious and he made the Pro Bowl.

Urlacher update

Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher isn’t expected to undergo surgery after an MRI Monday revealed he had a sprained medial collateral ligament and a partially sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Urlacher suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ 17-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings when safety Major Wright fell into him in the end zone.

Rookie safety Chris Conte will have a cast removed from his foot Tuesday.

Conte said he’s looking forward to working during the offseason and aspires to be a player like Urlacher.

“Brian is someone I look up to,” Conte said. “My biggest dream is to be somebody like Brian Urlacher.’’



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