Bears expect Melton back by Week 1

Chicago head coach Marc Trestman says the team expects Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton to be ready when the Bears host the Bengals in the regular season opener.

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton has been sidelinesd since suffering a concussion in Week 2 of the preseason. He began a running program this week and coach Marc Trestman said today he's on track to start the season on the active roster.

"All indications are that he's progressing that way," Trestman said. "When Monday shows up, I don't what the doctors are going to say or the trainers are going to say. But indications are that if not Monday, by Wednesday."

This is great news for the Bears, who are thin at defensive tackle and will need Melton on the field in Week 1 against the up-and-coming Cincinnati Bengals.

Also on the mend from his concussion is receiver Earl Bennett, who continued running on the sidelines today.

"Earl went out and ran today," said Trestman. "He was out here before. He had a helmet on, shoulder pads, was running around. He caught some balls out here in practice today. He's day-to-day. But it's encouraging. He's been released to work and begin his re-conditioning process. So that's a good sign."

Additionally, LB D.J. Williams (calf) participated in individual drills and LS Patrick Mannelly (ribs) participated in full.

T Jonathan Scott (knee), CB Zack Bowman (hamstring), LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) and DT Corvey Irvin (ankle) did not practice.

All four players are fighting for a roster spot, so this isn't good news for any of them heading into final cuts later this week.

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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