Lovie opts for rest over practice

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A rash of injuries forced Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith to alter the team's practice schedule on Wednesday. Instead of holding a normal full practice, the team's on-field work was limited to a walkthru following their customary morning meetings.

The Bears will return to the practice field on Thursday as the club continues to prepare for Sunday's home game against the Green Bay Packers.

"The only reason why you would do this is based on injuries," Smith said. "Normally, we wouldn't do this. If we had all of our guys healthy today, we'd be out there practicing today."

Smith believes the Bears can still accomplish the necessary work despite the change in routine.

"I don't feel like that is going to an issue at all," Smith said. "This time of the year, first off, you can't really practice in pads so it's not a walkthru, per say. When you say walkthru, be careful about the walkthru, we are going to get a little bit of work done today.

"And the mental part, it's the Green Bay Packers; we know each other well. We'll be fine. That won't be an issue in the end. If anything, that may be that boost or that little change of pace. If things aren't going exactly how you want them, changing up the routine isn't always a bad thing."

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler agreed with Smith's call to give the players an extra day to rest their bodies.

"I think it's a smart decision," Cutler said. "A lot of guys are banged up. You get to this point in the season and you hope guys can be smart enough to take a mental day and process the information and still be prepared on Sunday."