Smith not worried about Forte's absence

Chicago's starting running back, Matt Forte, hasn't practiced all offseason but that doesn't worry the head coach.

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," Smth 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 offseason 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."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Well, we love Michael, he's a really good back, and I think you need to have two good backs and we have two good backs. Of course we love Matt, and we're excited about having Mike." -- Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice on running back Michael Bush, who's getting most of the first-team carries in the offseason, and Matt Forte, a no-show as he protests his franchise player designation.

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