1985 Bears Coverage: Payton to play vs. Vikes

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Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

Payton to play vs. Vikes

Kevin Lamb

Originally published Sept. 16, 1985

Walter Payton plans to play Thursday night.

“If it’s a game,” he said.

It is, so Payton will have only three days to rest his bruised ribs before the Bears match 2-0 records with Minnesota on the road.

Missing a game is something he hasn’t considered since his rookie year. The Bears’ 20-7 victory over New England yesterday was his 142nd in a row.

“You know for Walter Payton to come out of a game, he’s sore,” coach Mike Ditka said. “If we can get him through Thursday, he won’t have to practice until the next Thursday.”

Payton left the game several times. He missed 10 of 12 plays on the Bears’ field-goal drive just before halftime. He didn’t carry the ball in the last 20 minutes. He finished with 11 carries for 39 yards.

How did he feel?

“Rested,” he said.

The left side of his rib cage was still hurting from the first play of last week’s game. He got hit there again on the second play yesterday.

Fullback Matt Suhey picked up some slack with nine carries for 36 yards and a touchdown. Halfback Tom Sanders added 10 for 37, fullback Calvin Thomas five for 22.

In 19 games against the Vikings, Payton has run 405 times for 1,924 yards and 16 touchdowns.

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