Chicago Bears: Matt Forte Could Return to the Lineup on Monday Night

Gabe SalgadoCorrespondent IIISeptember 29, 2012

Forte missed last week's game against St. Louis due to an ankle injury.
Forte missed last week's game against St. Louis due to an ankle injury.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It turned out that the Chicago Bears didn't need Matt Forte against the St. Louis Rams last week. But that doesn't mean that he wasn't missed by the Bears' offense.

Michael Bush, Armando Allen and Kahlil Bell did a fine job against the Rams last Sunday. With their powers combined, they gained 77 of the 103 total rushing yards that the Bears accumulated in the big victory.

But despite their performances last week, nothing can ever replace the dynamics that Matt Forte brings to the table.

Ever since the Bears defeated the Rams last week, Forte has been practicing in limited participation. The Bears' top draft pick of 2008 is still healing from a sprained ankle he suffered in the Week 2 loss at Green Bay.

This is encouraging news, especially since Bell was brought back to the team as a worst-case scenario.

What's even more encouraging is that Forte will get an extra day to rest and heal his injured ankle with the Bears playing on Monday night instead of Sunday.

The Bears and their fans are hoping and praying that Forte will be able to play on Monday night. Considering the type of injury Forte is healing from, Bears fans will be content with him coming off the bench instead of starting.

The only other person who knows Mike Tice's offense in and out, aside from Jay Cutler, is Matt Forte. Yes, Forte is a solid rusher, but he is also a receiving threat out of the backfield.


Forte is also a key component in pass protection, as he showed against Indianapolis. Forte made some key blocks while picking up the blitz that allowed Cutler to make some of those big throws against the Colts.

On Monday, the Bears will venture into Cowboys Stadium, and it will not be an easy trip. All 100,000 screaming fans aside, the 2-1 Dallas Cowboys are a major threat.

While Tony Romo and the Cowboys' offense get all of the glory, it's the Cowboys' defense that can turn the tide of game.

This was evidenced in their victory over Tampa Bay last week. The players on Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense were the unsung heroes against the Buccaneers.

The Bears are well aware of this, and it is another reason why they need Forte in uniform and on the field.

Should Forte be cleared to play on Monday night, I expect him to be eased back into the offense as opposed to being thrown into the lion's den.

Lovie Smith does not want to risk a reinjury to his top running back. At the moment, it looks like Forte's potential return will be a game-time decision. 

Let us all pray and hope for the best.


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