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Former Bear Alex Brown would fit in at end

Lovie Smith with Alex Brown 2009 has need defensive end. | Jonathan Daniel~Getty Images

Lovie Smith, with Alex Brown in 2009, has a need at defensive end. | Jonathan Daniel~Getty Images

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Updated: November 4, 2011 7:02PM

Lovie Smith called former Bears defensive end Alex Brown ‘‘a lifetime friend,’’ but he wouldn’t say whether the Bears are interested in reacquiring Brown after the New Orleans Saints cut him Tuesday.

‘‘I don’t know enough about it to respond to it,’’ Smith said.

Brown, a fourth-round draft pick by the Bears in 2002, started 107 games in eight seasons with the team (2002-09).

Considering his familiarity with the Bears’ defense and the team’s need for depth at defensive end with Corey Wootton injured, Brown would seem to be a good fit. Nick Reed and rookies Mario Addison and Jake Laptad are behind Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije on the depth chart.

‘‘Alex has been here before,’’ Smith said. ‘‘We like our guys we have right now. There’s great competition with the guys we have right now.’’

Taylor back — for now

Running back Chester Taylor took the blame for the ‘‘misunderstanding’’ that led to him leaving camp thinking he had been cut when in fact he still was on the team.

Taylor returned to practice after missing Monday, and he hopes to stick around.

‘‘I like it here in Chicago,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m going to continue playing, and we’ll see what happens.’’

Unless Marion Barber’s injury prevents him from playing in the season opener Sept. 11, Taylor remains a long shot to make the 53-man roster. Barber clearly is No. 2 behind starter Matt Forte, and Kahlil Bell’s production as a runner, receiver and four-phase special-teams player has pushed him ahead of Taylor.

More than likely, the fourth running back will be a blocking back, especially if the Bears keep six receivers.

Taylor thought he was being cut when Smith explained to him why he didn’t play in the 14-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

‘‘I just took the words the wrong way,’’ Taylor said.

Taylor will play in preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday at Soldier field. But it might take something spectacular to change his fate. No healthy non-quarterback hasn’t played in the third preseason game and made the 53-man roster in Smith’s seven years as coach.

Cutler to sit?

All indications are that quarterback Jay Cutler will sit out the game Thursday, as he did in the preseason finale last year.

‘‘His last two games were exceptional games, so I’m very pleased with where he is,’’ offensive coordinator Mike Martz said.

Injury report

Starting defensive tackle Anthony Adams, out with a lingering calf injury since Aug. 7, hasn’t been cleared to practice but said he expects to play in the season opener.

Wootton, rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his right meniscus after suffering a knee injury on the opening kickoff of the first preseason game Aug. 13 against the Buffalo Bills, hopes to be ready by the opener but likely won’t be 100 percent.

Tight ends Kellen Davis (weak back) and Desmond Clark (bruised knee), wide receiver Sam Hurd (ankle) and linebacker Lance Briggs (bruised knee) also missed practice.

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