By Kareem Copeland
Published: December 26, 2012 at 6:01 PM
Tell me if you've heard this one before: An NFL player has called the Detroit Lions "dirty." Shocking, right?
This time it's Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton taking a shot.
"They're dirty. They've always been a dirty team since I've been here," Melton told ESPN Chicago's Michael C. Wright. "I don't like them. We've just got to hold our composure and play the game we know."
This is not the first beef between the Bears and Lions. Brandon Marshall had choice words for Ndamukong Suh after an aggressive hit on Jay Cutler in the first meeting this season. The two teams had an on-field brawl last year and players were fined a combined $62,500. Bears safety Brandon Meriweather was fined $25,000 for an illegal hit against Lions receiver Nate Burleson in the first game between the teams in 2011. Suh was fined $15,000 for a shove to the back of Cutler two years ago.
"They just try to do all this extra stuff; talking, little cheap shots," Melton said. "If you look at the tape, they've always thrown cheap shots.
"We had a brawl I think last year. So it is what it is. I'm ready."
Melton is apparently worried the Lions could get extra snippy Sunday with nothing to play for. The Bears, meanwhile, are fighting for their playoff lives.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.