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CHICAGO (CBS) — Several key Bears players are banged up after a pivotal victory over division rival Minnesota, but coach Lovie Smith hopes to have everybody back in the lineup soon.
Among the key injuries: Matt Forte (ankle), Devin Hester (concussion), and Charles Tillman (ankle). Both starting offensive guards–Lance Louis and Chris Spencer–were forced out with knee injuries.
“It was a tough physical game,” Smith told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss on Monday. “It’s always about the next guys stepping up.
LISTEN: Lovie Smith Interview With Josh Liss
“Hopefully we’ll get most of those guys back.”
The offensive line injuries forced the Bears to move Gabe Carimi to guard, and Smith was pleased with his effort.
Despite the injuries, the Bears now sit alone in first place in the division.
“We needed to come out and play that way after a disappointing loss [at San Francisco],” Smith said. “It’s where the Bears belong, but there is a lot of football left to go.”
Smith was also happy to have Jay Cutler back at quarterback.
“He just gave us a boost. It was a game where we were going to lean on the run. [The Bears ran the ball 39 times.]
“When we needed him to [throw the ball], we thought he was accurate for most of the day.”
As for the outlook against Seattle next Sunday?
“We are in the home stretch now,” Smith said. “We just got to get a win. They are all tough from here on out.”