Briggs’ status still up in air for Bears

The status of injured Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs will

remain uncertain until just before game time Sunday night against

the Philadelphia Eagles.

Briggs is questionable for Sunday’s game, although all

indications are he’ll be able to play. On Friday Briggs went

through his first full practice since fracturing his left shoulder

Oct. 20. Briggs practiced Wednesday and Thursday on a limited

basis.

”I’m very optimistic,” coach Marc Trestman said Friday.

”Again, he practiced for three days. He’s been cleared by the

doctors.

”We’ll see where he’s at. But I wouldn’t want to say that he’s

gonna play, he’s gonna start. I think that’s still 48 hours

away.”

Rookie Khaseem Greene has played in Briggs’ weak side linebacker

spot since the injury occurred. Briggs is the defense’s signal

caller, so team’s hope is getting him back could restore some

stability to a defense ranked last in the league against the

run.

”I think No. 1 he’s an emotional leader,” Trestman said.

”He’s a tremendous football player. He’s been out of it for a

while. There may be some rust, there may not be. We’ll see how it

goes.”

During an eight-game period starting with Briggs’ injury, the

Bears have given up 190.2 yards rushing per game. Prior to his

injury, they allowed 102 yards rushing per game.

Other factors have also been involved, such as season-ending

injuries to defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins, middle

linebacker D.J. Williams and cornerback Charles Tillman.

The Bears will be facing the league’s top rushing offense and

NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy Sunday.

Briggs did not comment Friday on his status, but Thursday said

he thinks he can make a difference with his tackling ability.

”I like to think I’m a guy who’s going to get in his gap and

when the opportunity’s there, try to make it,” he said.

”Hopefully I can help the team. I don’t want to get out there and

hurt us.

”But at this point right now, these last couple games, the

defense has been playing better and better.”

The Bears defense held Cleveland to 93 yards rushing last week

and only 17 of the Browns’ 31 points came against the defense.

”That’s something to continue to build on,” Briggs said.