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updated: 12/20/2013 6:16 PM

Briggs cleared, but Bears will decide on Sunday

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  • Bears linebacker Lance Briggs has been medically cleared to play Sunday night in Philadelphia against the Eagles.

      Bears linebacker Lance Briggs has been medically cleared to play Sunday night in Philadelphia against the Eagles.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

Linebacker Lance Briggs has been medically cleared to play Sunday night, and he had full participation in Friday's practice inside the Walter Payton Center for the first time since he suffered a fractured shoulder Oct. 20.

But Briggs was listed as "questionable" on the injury report, and Bears coach Marc Trestman said the decision to play the seven-time Pro Bowler might not be made until just before game time.

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"He'll work out before the game, and we'll see where he's at," Trestman said. "I wouldn't want to say that he's going to play, he's going to start. But certainly, as we began the week fully optimistic, (we're) even more so now, since he's been cleared by the doctors. But we'll see where that goes on Sunday night."

After a two-month absence, Briggs isn't expected to play every snap. But his presence on the field in any capacity will benefit a defense that is the worst in the NFL against the run and now faces an Eagles team that leads the league in rushing.

"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. That's not the important thing. The important thing is he's going to impact our team in the huddle.

"He's a fiery leader. He's a great leader. And he's excited to play football again. Hopefully it'll work out where he can get some reps. How many? I don't know. But if he's up and he's ready to go, he'll certainly play."

Trestman said Briggs' input would be a major factor in whether he plays and how much he plays.

"I want him to feel good about it," the coach said. "Once you're cleared by doctors, then part of it is, 'How are you feeling?' Is there any residual (effects) that have come up since we've traveled. The trainers are a part of that evaluation, and certainly the information he gives us, where he's at mentally and emotionally, is a big part of it."

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