Chicago Bears Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte left his team's critical Week 16 game against the Arizona Cardinals with an ankle injury.
UPDATE: Sunday, December 30 at 11:50 a.m ET by Alex Kay
Matt Forte is going to fight through the pain and play in the season finale, despite an ankle injury that may hinder his performance against the Detroit Lions.
According to ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson, the Chicago Bears superstar RB is not named on the team's inactive report and should be good to go for today's game.
#Bears' inactives: Urlacher, Costanzo, Conte, Allen, McCown, Brandon, Collins.— Jeff Dickerson (@ESPNChiBears) December 30, 2012
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UPDATE: Monday, December 24 at 7:16 a.m. ET
Good news for Bears fans as the team fights for a playoff spot, Matt Forte (ankle) believe he will play in the team's crucial Week 17 contest, according to Chicago Sun-Times' Sean Jensen.
For the third time this season, running back Matt Forte didn’t finish a game because of an injured right ankle. Though he missed one start, Forte doesn’t intend to miss another.
'I can’t see myself missing next week,' Forte said.
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Chicago Tribune reporter Brad Briggs broke the news on Twitter:
Matt Forte having his right foot/ankle re-wrapped. RB Armando Allen also injured.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) December 23, 2012
Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times then updated Forte's status with more ominous news:
#Bears running back Matt Forte has been ruled out. He just slowly made his way into the locker room.— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) December 23, 2012
The Bears held a commanding 28-6 lead at the time, but this development is a definite cause for concern even if they can sneak into the playoffs.
The combination of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall has been getting much of the attention, but Forte has quietly had another productive season. With 12 carries, 88 yards and a touchdown on Sunday at Soldier Field, Forte is just short of 1,000 yards in 2012.
But his injury, combined with backup Michael Bush already being placed on injured reserve, makes the Bears backfield extremely thin entering Week 17.
Forte entered the Cardinals game not only as the team's leading rusher, but also as the Bears' second leading pass-catcher, behind Marshall, with 41 catches and 312 yards.
Perhaps the Bears can replace some of Forte's production in the running game, but his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is critical for Cutler. Chicago's offensive line has been shoddy in pass protection, and having Forte as a checkdown option has been key.
Check back here for the the latest on Forte's status as more information becomes available.