Lance Briggs figures his time with the Chicago Bears is coming to an end. He's not sure if his career is, too.
A week shy of 34 and with his contract set to expire, Briggs acknowledges his 12-year run with the Bears will likely end this season.
He says he understands "the reality of it" and is "proud of all the years I've had here."
The seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker is expected to return against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this week after missing the past three games with a rib injury. The Bears are 3-5 and trying to remain in playoff contention after dropping four of five before their bye.
>>Browns, Bengals Battle For AFC North Lead
(Cincinnati, OH) -- The battle for Ohio has key AFC North implications as the Cleveland Browns visit the Cincinnati Bengals on "Thursday Night Football" at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati leads the division at 5-2-and-1, with Pittsburgh at 6-and-3 and Cleveland at 5-and-3. The Browns have won four of their last five games, but are riding a 17-game road losing streak within the division. The Bengals have won two straight over Baltimore and Jacksonville since a three-game winless stretch. This is the third straight home game for Cincinnati, which is 13-0-and-1 in its last 14 regular-season games at home.
>>Still's Daughter To Watch Him Play In Person Tonight
(Cincinnati, OH) -- Tonight's "Thursday Night Football" game between the Browns and Bengals in Cincinnati will have special meaning for one player. The cancer-stricken daughter of Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still will watch her father play an NFL game in person for the first time. Four-year-old Leah had a tumor removed from her abdomen this summer, but has been deemed well enough to travel. Still says knowing his daughter is watching him will give him added motivation.
Still was cut by the Bengals before the season but was later re-signed, partly to ensure he'd have healthcare benefits for his daughter. The Bengals began donating money from the sale of Still's jersey to pediatric cancer. The story went viral, with NFL head coaches Sean Payton and Chip Kelly making purchases and Still receiving a 10-thousand-dollar donation while on the Ellen Show. The Bengals will present a one-million-dollar check from the jersey sales to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center during tonight's game.
>>49ers Running Back Lattimore Retires
(Santa Clara, CA) -- San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is hanging up his cleats. The 23-year-old is retiring from football without ever playing a down in the NFL because of the same knee injury that cut his college career short at South Carolina. The Niners drafted Lattimore in the fourth round despite a gruesome injury to his right knee in 2012. He thanked the organization for the opportunity, but says it's time to move on to the "next chapter if my life, and help others." Lattimore holds Gamecocks' records for rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. He says he will return to Columbia to finish his degree.
>>"Fire John Idzik" Banner Flies Over Jets' Facility
(Florham Park, NJ) -- Unhappy New York Jets fans are taking their complaints to the air. A plane carrying a banner that read "Fire John Idzik" flew over the team's practice facility for about 20 minutes on Wednesday. The plane circled around over and over before flying directly overhead on its final pass. Idzik is in his second season as the team's general manager. The Jets are just 1-and-8 this season. They host the 6-and-3 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
>>Bucs To Start McCown Sunday Against Falcons
(Tampa, FL) -- Josh McCown is replacing Mike Glennon under center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McCown will start Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. He began the season as the starting quarterback, but injured his thumb in a 56-14 loss at Atlanta in Week Three. Glennon took over and had started every game since, including the last two when McCown was recovered and ready to play. The Bucs have lost four straight and are just 1-and-7 on the season.
>>Cowboys' Romo Skips Wednesday Practice
(London, England) -- The status of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for Sunday's game against Jacksonville in London remains uncertain. He did not practice Wednesday because of the back injury that kept him out of Sunday's game against Arizona. Romo participated in a walk-through at the team hotel, but did not make the trip to the practice field. Brandon Weeden, who started in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, took all the first-team reps. Head coach Jason Garrett says he's hopeful Romo will be able to practice some time this week. Romo has skipped most Wednesday practices throughout the season.
>>Lions' Johnson Says He'll Play Sunday
(Allen Park, MI) -- Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson says he will return to the playing field this Sunday. Johnson told reporters he feels close to full strength, and is set to return when the Lions host the Miami Dolphins in Week 10. Detroit is on top of the NFC North at 6-and-2 and has won all three games with Johnson on the shelf with an ankle injury. "Megatron" has caught 22 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns in five games this season.
>>Texans Tab Mallett Starting QB
(Houston, TX) -- Ryan Mallett is the new starting signal-caller for the Houston Texans. Head coach Bill O'Brien has tabbed the fourth-year quarterback as the starter for their next game at Cleveland a week from Sunday. Mallet replaces Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has passed for over 19-hundred yards, with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Houston has gone 4-and-5 with Fitzpatrick under center, and is in second place in the AFC South. The Texans acquired Mallet before the start of the regular season from New England for an undisclosed 2015 draft pick. He has never started an NFL game.