LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher's status for Sunday's game in Detroit remains a mystery but the eight-time Pro Bowler did practice on a limited basis Friday for the first time since he suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain on Dec. 2.
Urlacher has been sidelined for the past three weeks, and he's officially listed as doubtful.
"I was encouraged that he was finally able to get on the practice field," coach Lovie Smith said. "It's not like we had a full-padded practice today, though, but he was able to move around which we thought he would be able to do. He's making the normal progress we had hoped he would make, he has made."
The Bears need to beat Detroit and have Green Bay win at Minnesota to secure a playoff berth.
"(Treatment has included) getting needles stuck in my Achilles and my ankle, acupuncture-type stuff," said Forte, who's listed as probable. "I've been doing the same stuff: acupuncture, chiropractic stuff, soft tissue work, hyperbaric chamber, same stuff. It seems to work better and better each time. Since I sprained it the first time and it hadn't all the way healed so it's not like a lot more damaged than the third time.
"I know it's going to be painful especially when you get tackled or hit on it, but it will be just like the Dallas game when I got hit on the first play and had to get it re-taped."
Smith said Urlacher doesn't have to put in a certain number of practices to be able to play.
"No, Brian doesn't have to necessarily practice a full practice before we would play him, but we are not to that point," Smith said. "Just going to look at how he moved around and see how he feels after today.
"He had a limited practice. That's about all I can tell you. If he was playing, of course I wouldn't tell you right now. That's kind of where we are with it."
Urlacher sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday before returning to the field on Friday.
Urlacher tested out the injured hamstring last Sunday prior to the Bears road game versus the Arizona Cardinals. Urlacher arrived at University of Phoenix Stadium approximately four hours before kickoff and worked out in front of the club's head athletic trainer Chris Hanks, director of rehabilitation Bobby Slater and a team physician.
Urlacher spent roughly 30 minutes participating in a variety of agility drills, including sideline-to-sideline and lateral movement running. Urlacher looked to be at full-speed when he attempted on several occasions to drop back into coverage out of his linebacker's stance.