(CBS) All signs point to Bears rookie running back Jeremy Langford getting his first career start Monday night against the Chargers, with starter Matt Forte missing practice again Friday after suffering a knee injury last Sunday.

“Matt’s not coming back, not this game anyway, I don’t think,” quarterback Jay Cutler said.

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The Bears haven’t yet officially listed Forte’s designation for Monday — that will come Saturday — but the Bears are preparing as if Langford will have a big load. And they’re confident in him.

“Approach-wise, he’s developed into a pro pretty quickly,” Cutler said. “He knows what we’re asking out of him. He knows protections, obviously knows the running game. He’s picking up the passing game very, very quickly, so he makes it comfortable as a quarterback. You tell him something, and he already knows what to do.

“He’s got a big challenge in front of him this week. We’re going to feature him in a lot of different ways, and he’s going to make some plays for us.”

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Lanford carried 12 times for 46 yards last Sunday after Forte was injured. He only has 27 career carries for 80 yards, but he insists he’s ready.

“I feel comfortable,” Langford said.

“I’m excited. For me, I’m very excited. At the same time, I got to relax and take it one day at a time, especially since it’s Monday Night Football.”

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In addition to Forte, center Hroniss Grasu (neck), linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee) and receiver Eddie Royal (knee) didn’t practice Friday. Offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod (shoulder), cornerback Bryce Callahan (concussion), linebacker Shea McClellin (knee), receiver Cam Meredith (ankle), tight end Zach Miller (shoulder) and linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (knee) were limited participants.