Injuries mount

All told, the Bears ended the 2002 season with 17 players out due to injuries, including 11 on injured reserve. While the team has suffered no major injuries through the first week of camp players are starting to go down.

If the Bears were playing a game on Saturday then DE Michael Haynes and TE Desmond Clark would have been on the field, but since that wasn't the case each sat out practice due to injuries.

Clark is nursing a quad his quad, while Haynes missed a second straight day of practice because of a sprained ankle. Neither is expected to be out long-term.

"I'm assuming they'll be back Monday," said team trainer, Tim Bream.

After missing three days with back spasms Anthony Thomas practiced for a second straight day.

"It's always a concern, but his back has spasmed before, but it's never been a chronic problem," said head coach Dick Jauron. "He said it was a little tight, but he's practiced two days in a row. Hopefully it will be over and it won't be a topic anymore. He didn't say anything to me today about it."

Although Adrian Peterson worked with the first team offense, it doesn't mean there is a running back controversy.

"We need to see a lot of both of them (Peterson and Thomas)," said Jauron. "Both very young running backs. A lot of times when you're fairly sure of your number ones you want to get the young players that you think has potential against a top-line player, just so you see how it stacks up."

During seven-on-seven drills Rex Grossman pleased the crowd completing three straight passes to Ahmad Merritt, Bobby Wade and Justin Gage. The quarterback also hooked up with Jamin Elliot, who made a great diving catch over the middle.

Bobby Gray picked off Kordell Stewart and returned the interception for a touchdown. The safety continues to work with the first team as Mike Green's is sidelined with a groin injury.

Even with a week before their first preseason game, the team is getting anxious to hit somebody that isn't in the same uniform.

"They'll be looking forward to it; I'm sure they are already," Jauron said. "(There is) still a lot of work to do and (it's) still early in camp."

The Bears have Sunday off before getting back on the field Monday for two practices beginning at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.


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