Matt Forte gets clearance to play in Pro Bowl

Less than a week before he will have to depart, Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte received clearance from the team to play in the Pro Bowl.

Forte passed a physical on his right knee, the club announced, meaning he is a go to participate in the NFL all-star game Jan. 29 in Honolulu.

Forte suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee Dec. 4 and was sidelined for the final four games of the season. Being a first-time Pro Bowl selection, Forte made it clear he wanted to experience the game.

“If Matt wants to play in the Pro Bowl, I’m all for him playing in the Pro Bowl,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said at the end of the regular season. “I think it’s special when you get voted by your peers, to go to your first Pro Bowl, and the type of year he had, even missing the last (four) games. Yeah, I am in favor if Matt wants to and he’s indicated to me that he does want to play in it so good for him.”

Forte was leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage when he was injured. He is coming out of contract and the Bears will almost certainly place the franchise tag on him if a long-term deal cannot be worked out before the first week of March.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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