Chicago Sun-Times

Bears expect Devin Hester to play vs. Raiders

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Bears coach Lovie Smith said he expects Devin Hester to play against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday despite not practicing this week because of a sore shin. Hester is listed as probable on the Bears' injury report.

''Devin is getting better,'' coach Lovie Smith said after practice Friday at Halas Hall. ''We kept him out one more day. He should be able to go.''

Hester didn't sound quite as optimistic when we talked to him about the injury Friday.

''It started out about two weeks ago and gradually go worse than I thought it would,'' he said. ''Something I have to deal with and hope it gets better. It's real sore. Other than that, it's kind of like a nagging injury. It's real sore. Hard to push off.''

Hester said he is hopeful he will not miss Sunday's game in Oakland. ''I'm going to get as much treatment as I can and get a lot of rest and hopefully it'll be ready for the game,'' he said.

In other injury news, nickel back D.J. Moore, still recovering from an ankle injury, also missed practice Friday and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game. Corey Graham would start at nickel back in Moore's place. Graham played nickel last week against the Chargers and had an interception.

The only other active player on the Bears' injury list was safety Brandon Meriweather, who is probable with a concussion.

The Raiders will be without running back Darren McFadden (foot) and kick returner Jacoby Ford (foot), who were ruled out by coach Hue Jackson on Friday. The Raiders list six starters as questionable: defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee), defensive end Lamarr Houston (knee), wide receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey (neck) and Denarius Moore (foot), safety Michael Huff (ankle) and cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring/groin).

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I'm hoping Devin can play, be effective and get a return against Oakland. He toasted two other AFC West teams, the Broncos and Chiefs in '07, and it'd be cool to see him get one against the Silver and Black. Imagine him having a return for a TD against every team in the NFL before his career is over. That would be, well, ridiculous.

Although he already is ridiculous. Maybe a new word has to be invented to describe him before all is said and done.

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