Marshall, Melton, Bennett and Williams Return to Bears Practice


Aug 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall (15) against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Four key Chicago Bears returned to work on this Labor day, as the team began formal preparations for the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.  It’s good news for the Bears, as they’d like to enter the season at full strength.  Let’s look at the status of each player:

Brandon Marshall

Marshall’s excused absence following his venting session last week raised more than a few eyebrows.  Was this a mental health break or a physical break.  He were assured that this leave of absence was part of the plan for Marshall to follow up with his doctors after offseason hip surgery.  He’s on target to play Week 1, declaring his hip “structurally sound

"“I’m always concerned about my body,” Marshall said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a little scratch; I’m always concerned. So coming off my third hip surgery, structurally, everything is good. The joint is in amazing shape. So that’s exciting.”"

Henry Melton

Melton left the Bears first preseason game after one series with a concussion, sidelined ever since.  Now, he’s got the green light to resume practicing:

A healthy Melton is a key for the Bears defensive interior.  The Franchise Player provides a key pass rush up the middle as he plays for a contract.

Earl Bennett

Melton is a little bit ahead of Bennett, who suffered a concussion during the Family Day practice at Soldier Field back on August 3rd.  He is still on the mend and he’s expected to be cleared to play this weekend.  This is the 2nd concussion for Bennett in the last 8 months, with the last coming in December 2012 against the Seahawks.  Bennett isn’t concerns about his history of concussions:

"“I don’t fear nobody, or nothing but God,” he said. “It’s a little bit scary, seeing the past players, and they just had the settlement with some of the ex-players that played. It’s kind of concerning, but at the same time, when I signed up for this game I knew what I was signing up for. The technology nowadays is a lot better than it was back then.“Like I said, I was seeing several specialists and they reassured me that it’s fine. It’s ok. It’s not threatening at all. There are little concerns, but as I said, I’m fine. No memory loss or anything like that, everything’s good.”"

 DJ Williams

WIlliams suffered a calf injury in one of the first few practices on training camp.  Of course, with the season about to start and rookie Jon Bostic slated to start at middle linebacker, Williams’ calf is suddenly feeling better.  Coach Trestman assessed the veteran linebacker’s status:

"“It’s really day-to-day quite frankly,” coach Marc Trestman said. “He did work today. He got some reps. He was out there. We’ll see where the rest of the week goes and make a decision (on whether he will be active Sunday) accordingly really based on Wednesday and Thursday’s practices to see where he is and the type of condition he’s in and the velocity of his reps.”"

That doesn’t sound like someone who’s going to start.  I don’t suppose he’ll dress on Sunday as he continues to work out and get back in game shape.

It’s nice to see the Bears on the mend and most of the key players ready to come back to action for the opener.