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Bush will be ready to start if needed

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 20, 2012 – 5:32 pm

With running back Matt Forte hampered by a sprained ankle he sustained last Thursday night against the Packers, Michael Bush will be ready to start if needed Sunday versus the Rams.

Bush signed a four-year contract with the Bears in March after appearing in 61 games with 19 starts in four seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

“Michael has started a lot in the league,” said coach Lovie Smith. “He’s been in this role before where the starter has gone down and the rest of the team, they just want to see another tailback in there that can do just as good a job. There aren’t many Matt Fortes out there. But our backup plan is pretty good, and Mike’s going to step in there and do a great job.”

With the Raiders last year, Bush stepped in after starter Darren McFadden suffered a season-ending injury and rushed for 977 yards and seven touchdowns.

“He’s not Matt, but he’s going to come in and give us a great running attack,” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “He’s really smart in pass protection and he catches the ball terrific out of the backfield. We’re not going to miss much by putting him in.”

Smith said that Forte is “getting better,” adding “I know ‘getting better’ doesn’t say an awful lot, but he’s making progress which we would like for him to do.”

Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who missed the entire offseason program and all four preseason games with a knee injury, was held out of practice Thursday after working out Wednesday.

“That may be the routine for a period of time,” Smith said. “He’s getting closer each week that he plays and we’re seeing improved play by him also, so we’ll keep that routine going for him.”

Defensive end Julius Peppers practiced without limitations Thursday after sitting out Wednesday with a sore foot.

Six Rams missed practice for the second straight day: Defensive tackles Michael Brockers (ankle) and Matt Conrath (knee), safety Matt Daniels (hamstring), tackle Rodger Saffold (knee), running back Steven Jackson (groin) and fullback Brit Miller (thigh). Tackle Wayne Hunter (ankle) was limited.


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Griffin accuses Rams of playing dirty

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 20, 2012 – 4:32 pm

A few days after losing to the Rams last Sunday, Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III accused the St. Louis defense of playing dirty and delivering cheap shots.

“There was some extracurricular stuff going on after the plays,” said Griffin, the second overall pick in the draft. “They were doing a lot of dirty things. I still think they have an extremely good team, that doesn’t take anything away from them, but the game was unprofessional.

“Who am I to talk? I’ve barely been a pro for very long, but from what I experienced against the Saints compared to that game, it was definitely unprofessional and it does need to be cleaned up.”

Griffin felt the Rams were targeting him throughout the game.

“I don’t want to tip-toe the lines of anything that’s happened with bounties or anything like that, but they were definitely going after me,” he said. “They made it a point, obviously, all week to hit me. Some of the shots were cheap of that nature. But it’s nothing I can control. Teams are going to try to hit me because they don’t think I can take a hit. I think I’ve proved over my career that I can.”

With the Bears preparing to host the Rams Sunday at Soldier Field, coach Lovie Smith was asked by a reporter after practice Thursday if he’s seen St. Louis bend the rules while watching tape.

“You want me to say a team is dirty before we play them, is that what you’re asking?” Smith said. “I see a team that plays hard. I know that they’re running to the ball defensively, playing hard offensively, and they’re playing until the whistle blows. That’s what we’ve seen, and we play the same way.”


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Sideline incident no big deal to Urlacher

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 20, 2012 – 3:15 pm

Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher said Thursday that he didn’t pay any attention to the media coverage of last week’s sideline incident between teammates Jay Cutler and J’Marcus Webb.

“Everyone was asking me about it, but I still haven’t seen what happened, and I really don’t care what happened,” Urlacher said. “Whatever happened, it’s over now. We’ve moved on. It doesn’t seem to be an issue. Someone told me there is a mutiny against Jay in our locker room. If there was, I didn’t know about it. I guess we’re supposed to be mad at him.

“Things happen on the sideline. That’s just the way it goes. People get mad. I have gotten in spats with coaches and players as well. It happens. It’s going to happen in the NFL. People get pissed off and sometimes we do things we shouldn’t. It happened.”

Urlacher said it was easy for the Bears to turn the page and move forward following the incident.

“It’s just like a fight in practice,” he told reporters. “It’s in practice. Who cares? You guys probably see us fight in training camp every year. So what? After the practice is over, you’re in the locker room and you’re buddies again. It’s not a big deal.

“You lose your emotions out there sometimes and you get mad, but when it’s over with, it’s over with. We spend a lot of time around each other, so we better get rid of it quick. It’s going to be a long season if we don’t.”


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