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updated: 6/13/2012 11:27 PM

Smith not worrying about Forte's absence at camp

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Coach Lovie Smith says he isn't concerned by running back Matt Forte's absence at minicamp.

"It's not an issue for me, and it can't be," Smith said. "I look at it (like this): "During the course of the year, you have guys that aren't here for whatever reason -- injuries, whatever. You coach the guys that can go, that can practice. We have been spending all of our time with that. I know Matt Forte. I'm sure he has been spending all of his time getting ready to go. But in the meantime, the best thing we can do for the Chicago Bears is keep this train going, which we've done."

Smith was asked if he was disappointed that Forte wasn't participating in the final off-season activity before the team reports to training camp in late July.

"I can't speculate on that," Smith said. "I'm having a blast coaching the guys that we have here right now."

The Bears coach also didn't choose to hazard a guess on whether Forte would be on hand for the start of training camp.

"I wouldn't speculate on that," he said. "When he shows up, we'll be ready to coach him up then."

Not to worry:

While Brian Urlacher is able to run at close to full speed on the periphery of minicamp practices, he hasn't yet reached the point in his rehab from last season's knee injury where he can participate in team work.

Again, it's a situation that doesn't alarm coach Lovie Smith.

"There's not a lot to explain," he said. "He's not ready to go yet. Our plan was to take it slow with him. We know what Brian can do. It's not like he's going to tell us an awful lot out here. He's right on pace. He should be good to go for training camp."

Not the time:

The offense hasn't done much work on running plays during OTAs and minicamp, but there's a reason.

"To try to come and work on your inside run game right now is silly," said offensive coordinator Mike Tice, who will also continue to work with the offensive line with his successor Tim Holt. "The most you can do is end of breaking some rule (against having contact in the off-season) and getting in trouble, so we stayed away from the run game. What we did do was put in some draws and some finesse runs, a little bit of pulling stuff, which gave us an opportunity to at least see our guys out in space and give the defense an opportunity to fit the runs."

Confidence game:

Second-year right tackle Gabe Carimi is back on the practice field, though not 100 percent recovered from last season's knee problems that limited him to just 2 games.

If he's back to 100 percent by training camp that would be a huge step toward an improved offensive line.

"We've been very pleased with what he has done, getting back in, getting back out there, and he hasn't had any trouble with the knee," coach Lovie Smith said. "He gives us a little bit more confidence when you see him out there."

Taking it easy:

Rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery did not practice Tuesday and was limited Wednesday because of a lower-leg injury, but coach Lovie Smith hopes he will be back today. Tight end Matt Spaeth (hamstring) was again held out of practice Wednesday.

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