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No budding plans to bench Vikes safety Smith

Despite being busted for misdemeanor possession of marijuana on Thursday night, it appears Minnesota Vikings starting free safety Dwight Smith will play on Monday against the Bears.

Coach Brad Childress told reporters in Minnesota on Saturday that he anticipates Smith will play.

“I am going to get all the facts before I pass any judgment on it, Childress told reporters there. “I’d anticipate him playing, yes.”

According to the police report, Smith admitted having just smoked marijuana when an officer approached the vehicle. Police report the vehicle was impeding traffic outside Sheiks Palace Royale, a downtown strip joint. Defensive tackle Pat Williams was also named in the police report but was in the area and not believed to be in Smith’s vehicle.

Smith practiced today and Friday. He was held out of the opener last season after he was cited for indecent conduct with a woman in a stairwell of a downtown building in August 2006. That was at the start of Childress first season with the team, and now the Vikings find themselves fully immersed in the NFC playoff race as a team that controls its own destiny for a wild-card spot.

Smith had an interception in the first meeting between the Bears and Vikings.