Report: Julius Peppers has sprained MCL

UPDATE: Bears head coach Lovie Smith said he hopes Julius Peppers can start practicing by Friday.

Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports Bears defensive end Julius Peppers suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee against the Lions on Monday night, according to an NFL source.

The former Tar Heel legend has not yet been ruled out for Sunday night’s battle at Soldier Field with the division rival Vikings.

Although Peppers didn’t miss much time in the game against the Lions, he was clearly hindered and simply a non-factor.

The 6-foot-7, 287-pound North Carolina product produced three solo stops and a tackle for loss against Detroit.  He has 12 tackles (10 solo), 15 quarterback pressures, two sacks and a forced fumble on the season.

Peppers was sidelined the final two contests of the 2007 campaign in Carolina with a sprained MCL in his right knee – the only two games he has missed due to injury at the professional level.

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