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Chicago's Peppers hopes to carry defensive load

33-year-old entering 12th season healthy

CHICAGO - Julius Peppers is helping to carry the defensive load for Chicago.

The aging Bears defense has been bothered by injuries in training camp. Peppers will enter his 12th season healthy after playing defensive end through nagging injuries the last two seasons.

The 33-year-old veteran Pro Bowl player with 111.5 career sacks says he feels "like I'm 25."

The Bears are without defensive end Corey Wootton, who is day to day with a hip injury. Rookie Jonathan Bostic is playing middle linebacker for injured D.J. Williams, who is bothered with a calf strain.

Chicago is hoping to get Wootton back soon because one of the keys to Peppers' 11.5-sack season last year was getting more rest.


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