Waiting game

Although it was first thought to be a one-day absence, <!--Default NodeId For Anthony Thomas is 741795,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:741795]>Anthony Thomas</A> has turned into an observer for three days due to back spasms. Head coach <!--Default NodeId For Dick Jauron is 834622,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:834622]>Dick Jauron</A> said that Thomas' problem was not chronic and the running back should return to action sometime during the next few days.

"This is not something we want to rush," Jauron said. "We'll just take some time to be sure that things are fine, then Anthony can return to practice. There's no use taking a chance this early in the year."

After an Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign in 2001, Thomas slumped averaging less than 3.5 yards per carry last year. While he's still the starter Thomas is competing to retain the role and is anxious to get back on the field.

"This is frustrating, I just want to get out there and play," Thomas said. "I was still slightly sore, nothing more than that. In a training camp situation, every day that you miss is an important day. You want to begin to string some good things together. This is the time to get going and to be a part of this team when it takes to the field."

Adrian Peterson is being given a strong look during preseason and sixth-round pick Brock Forsey has opened some eyes in various drills.

"Sure there is pressure on me this year," Thomas said. "There are some strong players on this team. I want to produce. I need to be out there and I need to be at my best. None of our players want a repeat of what happened to us last season."

During the offseason Thomas went through a rigorous training program, which helped him add speed and lose weight.

"It's all in the mindset," he said. "If you are feeling good you will be playing well. Overall, I'm a positive guy. I took it upon myself to be in the best condition possible. I think that it has made a difference in my level of play already."

Center of attention
Olin Kreutz is one of the best centers in the game, but he still needs a backup. The Bears have been grooming Terrence Metcalf since last season for the role.

Although he never played the position in college, the second-year player is learning from the best.

"The deal is learning how to snap the quarterback and move your feet," Metcalf said. "I've got one of the best in the league in Olin, so I'm kind of doing what he does and mimicking him.

"You know you have to do it, it's your job. You can't complain and I'm thankful for the opportunity."

Roster move
The Bears waived injured running back Eric McCoo Wednesday and claimed offensive guard Jamil Soriano off waivers from Green Bay.

The Packers waived Soriano on July 29 after signing as an undrafted college free agent from Harvard on May 2.

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