The 2011 season for Matt Forte and the Chicago Bears started with both sides at a standstill over a contract extension for the star running back, and it looks like it might end with Forte protecting his injured right knee at all costs. In an interview with ESPNChicago, Forte said that his knee is "nowhere near 100 percent" and that he doesn't expect himself back for next week's match up vs. the Green Bay Packers and is realistically aiming for a return in the playoffs, if the Bears can manage to make it that far.
Forte also gave quotes that indicated that he is putting a premium on being completely healthy when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this off season, telling ESPNChicago that "you can't just take on hits and get pounded on" because "you'll have more injuries to rehab."
Be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago and Windy City Gridiron, SB Nation's Chicago Bears Blog, for the latest updates on Forte and the Bears. For more news from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's NFL news hub.