Bears LB Pisa Tinoisamoa starts

Updated: January 16, 2011, 5:25 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Pisa Tinoisamoa was back in the Chicago Bears' starting lineup at strong-side linebacker for their NFC divisional playoff winagainst the Seattle Seahawks (8-9) on Sunday at Soldier Field. Tinoisamoa underwent a knee scope on Dec. 3, and missed the next three games before working his way back on the field by splitting time with Nick Roach.

For the Seahawks, middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu was active and started despite suffering a concussion in Seattle's 41-36 victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC wild-card round.

Roach started the season finale vs. the Green Bay Packers, but left after the first play due to a dislocated shoulder, allowing Tinoisamoa to step in for the remainder of the game.

Tinoisamoa skipped practice on Thursday, but that was by design, because the Bears normally install their third down and nickel packages that day of the week. Because Tinoisamoa is a two-down linebacker, it was a perfect time to rest his knee, which had caused the veteran linebacker discomfort for much of the season.

"It's probably as good as it's going to feel," Tinoisamoa said on Friday. "It's not perfect, but I don't think anybody is feeling perfect right now. That's OK with me. When you get caught up in emotion and other stuff, there is no time to feel that injury. It's time to go out, have fun and let loose."

Roach was also active on Sunday, and was expected to play a large role on special teams at the minimum, while wide receiver Earl Bennett was back in the mix after sitting out the Packers game with an ankle injury.

The Bears' inactives were: Caleb Hanie (third quarterback), Joshua Moore, Herman Johnson, Edwin Williams, Desmond Clark, Marcus Harrison, Craig Steltz and Kahlil Bell.

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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