Not taking chances

Smith optimistic about Brown's status

September 23, 2009, 5:38 PM

By: Jeff Dickerson

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Seattle's Lofa Tatupu left last week's game versus San Francisco because of an injured hamstring, but the Bears are preparing as if the star middle linebacker will play this Sunday.

"He's an elite player, so if he's not out there it does make a difference, but I think he'll be there," said offensive coordinator Ron Turner. "He had a hamstring, warmed up last week, played a little bit and couldn't go. He's got another week, so if he thought he could go last week, and now he's got another week to get better. Our game plan is that he's going to be there."

Tatupu, Justin Griffith, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Matt Hasselbeck and Brandon Mebane missed practice for Seattle Wednesday. Sean Locklear, Josh Wilson and LeRoy Hill have all been ruled out.

Walter Jones and Deion Branch both had full participation, and could make their season debuts against the Bears.

Alex Brown (sprained left ankle) did not practice, but Lovie Smith remains upbeat about Brown's status.

"I'm still optimistic he'll be able to play," said the head coach. "Hopefully he'll be able to get out there and do a little tomorrow."

Desmond Clark and Pisa Tinoisamoa also skipped practice, while Tommie Harris, Israel Idonije and Frank Omiyale were limited.

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