Rather than complaining about the lack of respect the Bears are showing him or venting about the team not considering him one of the league's elite backs, Forte all but dodged the issue during a charity appearance at Marist High School. He was there to support the Cure It Foundation as part of the game-changers initiative sponsored by popchips.
The Bears signed free agent running Michael Bush this offseason to add to the club's depth.
When a student sitting in the bleachers asked the Pro Bowl player whether he would suit up for the Bears this fall, Forte responded, "I'm still here, for now.''
Forte expanded on his response during an abbreviated media session.
"I don't really have a choice, do I?'' Forte said. "But yeah, I'll be here.''
Asked specifically by the Tribune about the support he continues to receive from his Bears teammates, an annoyed Forte declined to answer the question. In an interview Tuesday, team leader Brian Urlacher said he wasn't concerned about the possibility of Forte holding out of training camp.
"As long as (Forte's ) there Sept. 9, that's all that counts,'' Urlacher said in reference to the season opener versus the Colts at Soldier Field. "We're not worried about his commitment. We're not worried about Matt taking care of his body. Yes, we want him to get his money and get his contract. … We know he's going to be there when he needs to be.''
Forte appears to be in tremendous shape despite missing offseason workouts. He insisted the sprained medial collateral ligament he suffered in his right knee last season is no longer an issue.
"I'm in very good shape,'' he said. "That's what I do. I go out every week, week in and week out. I'm probably the healthiest I've ever been since coming out of college. … It's going to be a fun season.''
It would be much more enjoyable for Forte with a new contract in hand.