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Peppers, Forte held out of practice

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 19, 2012 – 4:16 pm

Defensive end Julius Peppers (foot) and running back Matt Forte (ankle) sat out practice Wednesday as the Bears continued preparing for Sunday’s home game against the St. Louis Rams.

Coach Lovie Smith said that Peppers “should be good to go” Thursday, while Forte is “making progress” after exiting last Thursday night’s loss in Green Bay with a sprained ankle.

If Forte can’t play Sunday, he’ll be replaced by Michael Bush. The veteran back filled in admirably for the Raiders last year after Darren McFadden sustained a season-ending injury, rushing for 977 yards and seven touchdowns and catching 37 passes for 418 yards and 1 TD.

“It helps for sure when he has been in that role out in Oakland with McFadden,” Smith said. “That’s why we have so much comfort in knowing that he’s been in there and what he can do.”

Bush signed a four-year contract with the Bears in March after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Raiders, where he increased his rushing yardage each year from 421 to 589 to 655 to 977.

“Mike’s a good player,” Smith said. “We said when we brought him in we were bringing in a starting tailback that we added to the mix. For us, it’s the next guy up. Hopefully Matt won’t be out long, but we feel comfortable with Mike while he’s gone.”

Seven Rams missed practice Wednesday: Defensive tackles Michael Brockers (ankle) and Matt Conrath (knee), safety Matt Daniels (hamstring), tackles Wayne Hunter (ankle) and Rodger Saffold (knee), running back Steven Jackson (groin) and fullback Brit Miller (thigh).

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