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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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