The Chicago Bears' belief that they have the depth to withstand injuries is being tested.
They officially ruled out return specialist and receiver Devin Hester and guard Chris Spencer for Sunday's game against Seattle.
The good news is that linebacker Lance Briggs and running back Matt Forte made it clear they expect to be ready after injuring ankles against Minnesota, meaning the banged-up Bears will likely have at least two of their star players available.
Asked after practice on Thursday if he expects to play this week, Forte said, ''I do.''
Briggs made a similar vow earlier in the day. He's missed just four games in 10 seasons and has no intention of adding to that total this week.
''Four games. I don't plan on missing this week, either,'' the seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker said.
Briggs and Forte practiced Thursday on a limited basis, as did star cornerback Charles Tillman, who left the Vikings game with an ankle injury.