Will Bears running back Matt Forte play Saturday?

Typically, teams don’t do a whole lot with their starters in the first preseason game.

Just take the romp in New England Thursday night as an example. Tom Brady suited up and didn’t play.

One question in Chicago is whether or not Bears running back Matt Forte will play in Saturday’s preseason opener at Soldier Field against the Buffalo Bills. The running back said last week that he would consider sitting out in preseason until he has the long-term contract extension he’s been seeking. Forte’s agent has been in discussions with the team about a new deal since the lockout ended. Before camp opened, Forte let it be known he was considering a holdout.

"I expect all the guys to be ready to play if we tell them,'' Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "We'll make those decisions a little bit later. But you just look at what Matt is doing. You love everything he's done. And why wouldn't he be ready to go?''

If Forte does play, he won’t get a lot of work. The Bears starters played one series in the preseason opener at San Diego last summer. Smith is known for backing his players but he’s not going to allow them to dictate his decisions.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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