The Bears announced that Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte, who missed the final four games of the regular season with a sprained MCL, has passed a physical exam and has been cleared to play in the Pro Bowl.
Forte led NFL running backs in yards from scrimmage for most of the season until a week after he suffered the knee injury against the Kansas City Chiefs. Forte had 203 carries for 997 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the Bears with 52 receptions for 490 yards and one touchdown.
Forte is the Bears' first running back to make the Pro Bowl since Neal Anderson after the 1991 season. Coach Lovie Smith said late in the season that he would allow Forte to play in the Pro Bowl if that's what Forte wanted to do.
The Tulane product is still disgruntled about his contract status. He had hoped to get an extension while playing the 2011 season on the final year of his rookie contract. The Bears reportedly offered him a contract that would pay him around $14 million in guaranteed money, but he turned it down.
It is expected the Bears will use the franchise tag on Forte for the 2012 season. Forte has hinted -- and others have hinted for him -- that he will hold out during training camp if he is given the franchise tag.