Lance Briggs cleared to return

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs cleared one hurdle Friday by receiving medical clearance to play Sunday at Philadelphia.

Whether he plays against the Eagles remains unclear, as coach Marc Trestman says Briggs will be listed as questionable.

"I'm very optimistic," Trestman said. "He practiced for three days. He's been cleared by the doctors. We'll list him as questionable up until game time. He'll work out before the game, and 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. But certainly we began the week fully optimistic [and are] even more now since he's been cleared by the doctors."

Briggs participated fully during practice Friday after having worked in a limited capacity Wednesday and Thursday. Trestman indicated the decision on whether to play Briggs will depend largely on the linebacker's comfort level.

Out the past eight weeks with a shoulder fracture suffered Oct. 20 at Washington, Briggs expressed uncertainty Friday about his ability to be a difference-maker Sunday, saying, "I don't want to get out there and hurt us."

Trestman said he's unsure of the number of snaps Briggs would play if he's able to go and added that there would be no expectations about his level of production.

Chicago goes into Sunday's matchup ranked No. 32 against the run, and Philadelphia fields the league's top-ranked rushing attack (152.9 yards per game), led by LeSean McCoy.

Briggs had 75 tackles through the first seven games before his injury, and his stats include nine tackles for losses, two sacks, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

"I want him to feel good about it," Trestman said. "Once you're cleared by the doctors, then a part of it is, 'How are you feeling? [Are] there any residuals that have come up since we've traveled?' So the trainers are a part of that evaluation, and certainly the information [Briggs] gives us about where he's at mentally and emotionally is a big part of it."

Even if Briggs can't contribute significantly in terms of playing time, Trestman expects the seven-time Pro Bowler to provide an emotional lift with his veteran savvy and leadership ability.

"He's an emotional leader. He's a tremendous football player," Trestman said. "He's been out of it for a while. There may be some rust; there may not be. We'll see.

"That's not the important thing. The important thing is he's gonna impact our team in the huddle. He's a fiery leader. He's a great leader, and he's excited to play football again."

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