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.
Briggs and Forte practiced Thursday on a limited basis, as did star cornerback Charles Tillman, who left the Vikings game with an ankle injury.
Even if they get Briggs, Forte and Tillman back, the Bears (8-3) will still be short-handed as they try at least to maintain their one-game lead over Green Bay in the NFC North.