CHICAGO (AP) _ Former tight end Cap Boso is entitled to disability pay from the Chicago Bears, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled.

The justices ruled Tuesday that Boso, who sustained a career-ending knee injury in 1991, has the same right to claim lost earnings as other skilled workers who are injured on the job.

The Bears appealed the Illinois Industrial Commission decision to award Boso $353 a week for the rest of his life. The team argued that athletes should not be compensated longer than the expected duration of their careers.

The Bears contended the average professional career of a tight end is only eight years. Boso, 35, was in his sixth year as a pro when hurt. He is now a recruiter for Western Kentucky University.

If he lives another 40 years, he would receive about $800,000 in weekly compensation payments.