Bears

Sick bay: Urlacher back at practicesort of

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Sick bay: Urlacher back at practicesort of

Brian Urlacher was back practicing in a helmet and pads on Friday for the first time since pulling a hamstring late in the Dec. 2 to loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Soldier Field. But his return to the middle linebacker spot this Sunday remains officially doubtful.

Urlacher sprinted away from questions with the requisite, Got to go get treatment, and that is still the case with an injury that has cost him three games already and has thrown his Chicago future under a cloud.

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He was able officially to practice on a limited basis, which is progress, said coach Lovie Smith. Were going to look at how he moved around Friday and see how he feels after today.

Urlacher and the Bears had hoped he would be able to take the field for what now is a make-or-break game against the Detroit Lions. But Urlacher did not take part in the light work on Wednesday or Thursday and although Smith said Urlacher is the level and type of player who would not need practice to be game-ready, a hamstring injury is susceptible to re-injury.

Running back Armando Allen remained out of practice with a knee injury and will not be ready for Detroit. Linebacker Blake Costanzo (calf) and safety Chris Conte (hamstring) also did not practice again and will miss the Lions.

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But running back Matt Forte, who employed a multitude of treatments including acupuncture to heal his sprained ankle, is expected to be full go for the Lions.

Same with Jonathan Scott, back starting at right tackle after missing the Arizona game with a hamstring injury.

The Detroit Lions practiced on Friday without wide receiver Calvin Johnson, resting ankle and knee pains. Johnson will play Sunday in his quest to get the last 108 yards he needs to post the NFLs first 2,000-yard receiving season.

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was given a veterans day off from work and defensive tackle Sammie Hill (foot) did not practice.

But tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain, was able to get some practice time, as was safety Louis Delmas (knee).

Where should Khalil Mack rank among all-time best Bears?

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USA TODAY

Where should Khalil Mack rank among all-time best Bears?

One season was all it took for Khalil Mack to enter the conversation among the all-time best Bears players.

Six forced fumbles, 12.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, four pass breakups and one pick six kept him in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation despite an ankle injury.

It’s hard to stack one dominant season against players who maintained excellence over multiple years, but Hall of Fame writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson did just that in their ranking of the top 100 Bears players of all time.

For Mack’s efforts in 2018, he came in 60th on the list, one spot behind former defensive end Julius Peppers.

Richard Dent is the only player in Bears history to record more than 12.5 sacks in a season, and Mack’s production was tied for the third best year for the franchise since they started recording sacks in 1982.

Peppers hit double-digit sacks twice in his four years in Chicago with three trips to the Pro Bowl, but Pompei and Pierson may have been hesitant to rank Mack too highly given how little time he’s spent at Halas Hall.

The star outside linebacker is not the 60th most talented player in team history, but in terms of best contributions while on the Bears, his lack of tenure could be what keeps him lower on the list.

If he continues at his current rate, he should rise near the top of the rankings after another few seasons.

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Hall of Fame writers rank Jay Cutler behind Brandon Marshall on all-time Bears list

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USA TODAY

Hall of Fame writers rank Jay Cutler behind Brandon Marshall on all-time Bears list

The summer days of the offseason are prime ranking season, and the Bears official website is entering the mix as part of the team’s 100th season celebration.

Hall of Fame writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson ranked the top 100 players in franchise history for their upcoming centennial scrapbook, and Monday the team released the first 25 names on the list.

The biggest standout was quarterback Jay Cutler, who ranked 85th.

Plenty of Hall of Famers should rank above the Bears’ all-time leading passer, but 84 is quite a few.

It’s hard to compare a modern quarterback to players from previous decades, like 82nd-ranked George Blanda, but Cutler even came in behind the likes of wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, neither of whom spent more than five years in Chicago.

Third-year safety Eddie Jackson also made an appearance at 96 on the list, and beloved former long snapper Patrick Mannelly started off the list at 100.