Matt Forte says he'll be back from knee injury to play on Thanksgiving

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte said he expects to play Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers after sitting out three games with a sprained MCL.

"I probably could have played last Sunday, but I might not have been able to play coming up this week if something would have happened," Forte said. "Time heals and stuff. Just a couple of extra days will help.

"I'm good enough to go."

Forte's return is a huge boost for the Bears. The eight-year veteran ran for 141 yards and one touchdown against Green Bay in Week 1, and since 2008, Forte leads the NFL with 12,198 yards from scrimmage and 25 games with 150 scrimmage yards.

"I'm excited just to get back out there," Forte said. "Not really a lot of fun watching the games and doing all that and not be able to help your team win, so I'm not really used to doing that. But it's going to be fun to get back out there on the field and help us out. Just looking forward to being out there."

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said Forte looked fresh on the practice field Tuesday.

"It's great [having Forte out there]," Cutler said. "Getting Matt back is only going to help us. He looked good out there today. I know he was close last week to going. Anytime you get No. 22 back in the lineup, it's going to help."

Offensive coordinator Adam Gase now has the luxury of designing plays for both Forte and rookie Jeremy Langford, who tallied 366 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns the past three weeks.

"I think any time you've got two really talented running backs, it's not going to be a problem," Gase said. "You're always trying to find the hot hand. I think Matt Forte getting back; it's going to be exciting for me. I felt like we had a great rhythm going when he was in there. I thought Jeremy did a great job as far as stepping in and keeping that momentum going, and now, we have a chance to have a really interesting one-two punch here with Matt and Jeremy."

Forte, 29, said he embraces the idea of sharing some of the workload with Langford.

"I know that I don't have to play every single play [with Langford around]," Forte said. "Last year I played like 92 percent of the snaps and stuff. It kind of takes a toll on me toward the end of the year especially. I don't have to play every down, but when I do get in there I can give 110, over 100 percent effort whether I'm running with the ball or blocking or whatever."