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Smith Says He Will Play; Schwartz Not as Certain

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The biggest question heading into Sunday's game against the Bears is the status of running back Kevin Smith.  While he did return to practice on Thursday, that didn't exactly clear anything up since it was a non-padded session. 

Following today's workout, however, Smith came right out and said he is going to play on Sunday.

"I'm going to play,'' Smith said emphatically after Friday's workout.

"It's football, so I'm sure I'll have to endure some pain, but it's good enough to go. I feel healthy enough to play at a high level,'' he said.

"I wouldn't go out there and do that and not play,'' Smith said.

Don't take what he said to the bank just yet, as Jim Schwartz is ultimately the one who will make a decision about whether or not Smith will in fact play.  Schwartz didn't sound nearly as confident that Smith will be good to go on Sunday, cautiously saying that he could be completely ready or inactive.  Right now, though, it's just not clear.

"Um, it remains to be seen," Schwartz said. "There’s a big difference in non-padded practices on Thursday and Friday and an NFL football game. Still got a long way to go. We’ll know a little bit more tomorrow, maybe a little bit more Sunday morning. May be a situation we take him out (to practice) before the game and see how he responds to doing that. We’ve done that before with players."

My guess is that we won't know if Smith is going to play for sure until the inactive list is released prior to the game on Sunday.  I'm assuming that regardless of his status, Schwartz wants to keep the Bears in the dark as much as possible, so this could just all be a front and Smith may be good to go right now.  I hope that's the case, as the Lions will need him against Chicago.