Briggs backtracks on Bears being hurt by contract issues

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs now says recent rifts involving players aren't having "any effect" on the Chicago Bears.

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Briggs on Thursday seemed to back off comments he made to Comcast SportsNet Chicago this week. He told the television station that issues were taking "away from wanting to go out on the field and just play."

But Briggs said Thursday that he doesn't believe "it has any affect" and the "business side should never take away from the football." He said the Bears "may have unhappy players, but we don't have an unhappy locker room."

Briggs and running back Matt Forte wanted new deals, and Chris Harris requested a trade before Tuesday's deadline after the safety was held out last week against the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears (3-3) play Tampa Bay (4-2) in London this weekend.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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