Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
I know football is a team sport and one player can't make a huge difference like in basketball. But with that being said, I think the Bears defense will benefit greatly when Lance Briggs returns. What is the timetable for that to happen?
Bears general manager Phil Emery said earlier this week that linebacker Lance Briggs told him after last Sunday's loss to the Patriots that he will be ready to play in the Bears' next game a week from Sunday against the Packers. Briggs has missed the last three games with a rib injury. Asked why Briggs was unable to play in New England, Emery said: "He's had some swelling in his injured area. It has not calmed down to the point where he felt like he could tackle and play at his optimal level." Emery also said that Briggs "was moving around pretty darn well" while practicing on a limited basis last week.
How close did the Bears come to making a trade before the deadline on Tuesday?
Only general manager Phil Emery knows for sure, but it didn't sound like the Bears were close to making a deal when Emery addressed the topic on Monday, saying: "We've had two or three interesting things that have come across where people have called. But nothing that helps the Bears win now. We would be in a position where we gave up much more than we're promised."
I see that Kyle Long is on pace for 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. Has any Bears player ever done that?
Only two players have accomplished that feat in NFL history: Roger Craig with the 49ers in 1985 and Marshall Faulk with the Rams in 1999. No Bears player has ever come close. (The most receiving yards Hall of Famer Walter Payton ever had in a season was 607 in 1983.) Matt Forte, with 562 yards rushing and 490 yards receiving at the halfway point of the season, actually is on pace to fall just short of the achievement. But that certainly doesn't mean he won't do it.