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updated: 9/26/2012 7:44 PM

Bears' Forte expects to play against Dallas

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Running back Matt Forte said he expects to play Monday against the Cowboys after missing just one game with the sprained ankle he suffered late in the first half in Week 2.

Forte was back at practice Wednesday, doing some individual drills before 11-on-11 work.

"It felt pretty good," the 2011 Pro Bowl pick said. "I went through all the (pass) routes and everything. I can sprint. So I'll be good to go."

Forte, who is averaging a team-best 4.8 yards per carry (111 yards on 23 attempts) and is second with 7 receptions, isn't surprised he's back so soon.

"It didn't really swell up," he said. "That's the big part when you have ankle injuries, so I felt like I'd be back pretty soon.

"As long as you know how to take care of your body, that's how you get back on the field. I've had ankle injuries before, and I know how to work with them.

"It's just you have to want to get back on the field."

Welcome back:

Coach Lovie Smith downplayed the anticipated return of the regular officials, but he and his players will be glad to have them back.

"It's not really an issue with us," Smith said. "Dallas kind of occupies all of our time, but I can't wait to get them back out there."

Some players have voiced concerns about safety issues with the fill-in officials, whose work has been roundly criticized, but the biggest concern for most players is getting the calls on the field correct.

"We want the guys who do that for a living to be back on the field," center Roberto Garza said. "We want those guys out there. Those guys have been around this game a long time and know what they're doing. Hopefully the NFL will get that done as soon as possible, but I don't see any impact on players get hurt or anything like that."

Here and there:

Defensive end Julius Peppers (foot), offensive tackle Gabe Carimi and tight end Evan Rodriguez (knee) did not practice.

In observance of Yom Kippur, Carimi had been fasting since sundown Tuesday, and he limited his activity Wednesday, although he was at Halas Hall for meetings.

"I'm hungry and thirsty but nothing I've done it before," Carimi said. "It's not a big deal. (Technically) you're not supposed to work. You're not supposed to turn on lights. I'm reformed. I still drive. I feel like going to work and watching practice and going through the mental reps is not work. I'll watch. I would be too thirsty if I actually did anything."

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