Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was in a reflective mood when he stepped to the podium after practice at Halas Hall on Wednesday. The 33-year-old veteran knows Sunday night could be the last time he faces the Packers. It’s because he knows this season could be his last with the Bears.
“I understand it,” Briggs said. “I understand that this is probably my last year as a Chicago Bear. It could be the last time I play the Packers. But, for me, I really do enjoy my teammates. It’s been unfortunate to watch from the sideline because I want to see them find success. Any Bear making a play is always a good thing.”
Briggs is in the final year of three-year, $17.5 million contract. And there’s a youth movement in action at Halas Hall, especially at his position. The Bears drafted linebackers Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene last year. Shea McClellin, the Bears’ first-round pick in 2012, was moved to linebacker this year. Undrafted rookie Christian Jones has won over the team.
The worst part for Briggs is that his once-renowned durability has disappeared over the past two seasons. He’s set to return against the Packers after missing three games with sore ribs. Last year, Briggs played only in nine games because he fractured his shoulder.
“I don’t know what to do with myself sometimes,” Briggs said. “Sometimes I sit in the meetings while coaches are talking and some times the words just phase out and I’m just staring at the screen. The only thing I can tell is the time. I can see the time and it’s like, ‘Damn, I still got 55 minutes left.’ ”
Could this be Briggs’ last year in the NFL?
“I don’t know,” Briggs said. “Somebody has got to want you first, and then you from there. But right now, my focus is the Packers.”
And his ribs feel better.
“I’m good,” Briggs said. “I got to practice with the first team today.”