Devin Hester Not Expected To Play Today

BOURBONNAIS -- Linebacker Brian Urlacher was excused from practice again on Tuesday for personal reasons while receiver/returner Devin Hester was out with sickness, according to coach Lovie Smith. Neither is expected to play on Thursday against the Denver Broncos.

Receiver Eric Weems (ankle) was dressed for practice but did not take an active part in basically a half-speed session without pads for the first time in a week.

The absence of veterans (several others are expected to see little or no playing time on Thursday) is an opportunity for roster hopefuls under game conditions. Daily practices the past several days have concluded with live hitting between reserve offenses and defenses, but this will be different. Far different.

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