THE STATUS of injured Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs will remain uncertain until just before game time tomorrow night against the Eagles.
Briggs is questionable for the game, although all indications are he'll be able to play. Yesterday, Briggs went through his first full practice since fracturing his left shoulder Oct. 20. Briggs practiced Wednesday and Thursday on a limited basis.
"I'm very optimistic," coach Marc Trestman said yesterday. "Again, he practiced for 3 days. He's been cleared by the doctors.
"We'll see where he's at. But I wouldn't want to say that he's gonna play, he's gonna start. I think that's still 48 hours away."
Rookie Khaseem Greene has played in Briggs' weakside linebacker spot since the injury occurred. Briggs is the defense's signal caller, so team's hope is getting him back could restore some stability to a defense ranked last in the league against the run.
"I think 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. We'll see how it goes."
During an eight-game period starting with Briggs' injury, the Bears have given up 190.2 yards rushing per game. Before his injury, they allowed 102 yards rushing per game.
* The Packers ruled out Aaron Rodgers for tomorrow's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It will be Green Bay's seventh straight game without Rodgers since the franchise quarterback fractured his left collarbone during the first series of a 27-20 loss to the Bears on Nov. 4. Backup Matt Flynn will make a fourth straight start. Coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers has not received medical clearance yet, and that the organization feels Rodgers is not ready to play.
* Dallas linebacker Sean Lee will miss his second straight game with a sprained neck, and cornerback Brandon Carr says he will play tomorrow against Washington after missing 2 days of practice because of illness. Lee said he was improving and hopeful he could return for the season finale against the Eagles.
* Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel says he will play tomorrow when the Steelers face Green Bay. Keisel, 35, has missed most of the last five games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
* Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew practiced in a limited capacity and will be a game-day decision as to whether he will play against the Tennessee Titans.
* The Seattle Seahawks will be without starting right guard J.R. Sweezy for tomorrow's game against Arizona after suffering a concussion last week against the Giants.
* As expected, Denver Broncos slot receiver Wes Welker (concussion) was officially ruled out of this weekend's game at Houston and is likely also to be held out of the Broncos' regular-season finale at Oakland on Dec. 29.