NFC North injury report: Matt Forte expects to play, Brian Urlacher could return

USA TODAY Sports

After aggravating his ankle injury Matt Forte expects to play Sunday against Detroit.

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte aggravated his ankle injury Sunday against Arizona, but he still expects to play against the Detroit Lions in Week 17.

Despite being in a walking boot following the game, Forte told reporters he couldn't see himself missing Sunday's game. The Bears are still very much in playoff contention, but have to beat Detroit to have a shot at the final NFC Wild Card slot. Chicago could also get a boost from Brian Urlacher, as it's possible the linebacker could return after missing three games. Urlacher worked out prior to Sunday's game in Arizona.

While Chicago may get Urlacher back, tight end Brandon Pettigrew could return for Detroit. Pettigrew has missed the last two games, but Lions coach Jim Schwartz said he was optimistic Pettigrew would play against Chicago. Schwartz said unless Pettigrew goes on injured reserve during the week, the team is hopeful he will be able to play.

The Packers could also get an offensive weapon back, as coach Mike McCarthy said he is hopeful wide receiver Jordy Nelson will be able to return against the Minnesota Vikings. Nelson has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury. Green Bay also appears to have avoided serious injury with Randall Cobb, as his ankle injury isn't believed to be serious.

Minnesota can punch its playoff ticket with a win and the Vikings will have Adrian Peterson against Green Bay. Head coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson will play against the Packers despite an abdomen injury. Minnesota should also have cornerback Antoine Winfield available despite the broken hand he suffered on Sunday. Winfield is expected to play with a wrap on his hand.

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