December 7, 2011 in Sports

Bears’ Forte not sure when he’ll return

 

Forte
(Full-size photo)

Chicago Bears star running back Matt Forte isn’t sure when he’ll return from a sprained right knee.

His status for the rest of the season is in question after he left in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with a sprained medial collateral ligament, another major blow for a team trying to land a playoff spot in the NFC. Forte’s injury came two weeks after quarterback Jay Cutler broke his thumb late in a victory over San Diego.

The Bears (7-5) have dropped two straight since then after winning five in a row. Coach Lovie Smith has said he expects both players to return, but neither is making any guarantees.

Forte said players with injuries like his generally miss two to six weeks. He got a plasma injection Tuesday morning hoping to speed the healing process, but he will sit out against Denver this week.

“It’s disappointing,” said Forte, who has started all 60 games since he was drafted in 2008. “It’s going to be my first game missed in my entire career. I’ve been playing going on four years and haven’t missed a game. I’m not excited about that.”

Already missing their star QB, the Bears’ fortunes took another bad turn when Forte got hit in the right knee by the Chiefs’ Derrick Johnson on a run for no gain deep in Chicago territory with 6 minutes left in the first quarter against Kansas City.

He stayed down for several minutes while being tended to by medical personnel before walking off the field on his own power. He remained on the sideline for a short while and headed to the locker room.

When the MRI exam showed no major structural damage, he exhaled again knowing he didn’t need surgery. The question is when he’ll be back, and on that end, he’s not sure.

Forte played through a similar injury in 2009.

“They’re different because my leg was actually in the air. This time, my leg was planted in the ground so it was more severe,” he said. “I just got to try to get the swelling out, get the soreness out to where I can start being more functional.”

Redskins suspended

The NFL announced four-game suspensions for Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis and left tackle Trent Williams for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The league said both are suspended without pay and will be eligible to return to Washington’s active roster on Jan. 2 – the day after the final regular-season game against Philadelphia.

A person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Sunday that Davis and Williams were expecting to be penalized after failing multiple drug tests.

Extra points

Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke’s injured neck will require surgery that could put the veteran’s career in jeopardy. Although the team hasn’t placed Hoke on season-ending injured reserve, several of his teammates said they’re preparing to finish the year without him. … The Houston Texans cut quarterback Kellen Clemens and placed punter Brett Hartmann on injured reserve. Hartmann tore his left anterior cruciate ligament Sunday. Coach Gary Kubiak said Houston will sign another punter after holding tryouts.


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