Bears 'hopeful' Matt Forte will return to practice this week

Matt Forte sat out practice all last week and did not play in the Chicago Bears’ 23-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Soldier Field but the club sounds hopeful he will return this week.

Forte suffered a sprained right ankle in Week 2 at Green Bay. He was spotted jogging off the practice field last week but coach Lovie Smith would not say whether the plan is for Forte to practice this week or not. The Bears have an extra day to prepare for their “Monday Night Football” showdown with the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 1.

“We have an extra day this week, so we’re hopeful,” Smith said.

Backup running back Michael Bush might have been banged up in the win over the Rams. Smith was not very clear about Bush’s status as Kahlil Bell was getting all of the work at the end of the game. If the Bears are down two backs, that could make it challenging heading to Dallas.

“We have a lot of guys that got a little banged up yesterday as I said from the physical play of the game, but no, we were playing Kahlil Bell before that,” Smith said. “Mike took some good shots. He came out one play on a hard hit but it was that type of game. It was good to see Kahlil Bell get some reps. Kahlil can do some of the same things we ask Michael to. I still think there’s a place for Armando Allen, too, which gives you a totally different body type plan.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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