NFL warns Marion Barber for ignoring media

Chicago Bears running back Marion Barber faces a fine from the NFL if he does not cooperate with the media this week.

Barber received a warning from the league, which mandates that players be available to the press once during the week and after games. He has ducked out of interview requests for most of the season and was not available after Sunday’s 13-10 overtime loss in Denver when he rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown but had two major errors that led to the loss.

Barber ran out of bounds with 1:55 remaining when the Bears were trying to run out the clock, a move that saved the Broncos about 35 seconds when they were out of timeouts. Then, carrying the ball with one hand, Barber fumbled in overtime with the Bears in field-goal range. The week before, he was called for an illegal formation penalty, wiping out a touchdown in a 10-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Barber was approached after practice Wednesday and asked to talk.

“I'm gonna get to it, brother,” he said. “Thanks for asking.”

It is believed he will speak on Thursday. Barber has rarely granted interviews during his NFL career, but it’s a rule and when he violates it repeatedly in the league’s second-largest media market, eventually he’s going to get himself in trouble. A first time fine could reach $10,000. We’ll see if that’s enough to move his lips.

"There are things in place for that," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "I assume most of our guys answer when they’re supposed to and meet with you guys but I’ve got other things on my mind right now instead of that."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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