Backfield in motion

With <!--Default NodeId For Anthony Thomas is 741795,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:741795]>Anthony Thomas</A> out of action most of last week recovering from back spasms, other players continued to see more playing time.

Adrian Peterson is No. 2 on the depth chart, while Maurice Hicks, Brock Forsey and Rabih Abdullah are battling for probably two spots under the watchful eye of coaches.

"You're looking for production, yards, broken tackles, good reads," said offensive coordinator John Shoop, "all the same things that we look for from Anthony when he's out there." Peterson, a sixth-round draft choice last year, rushed for 101 yards on 19 carries (5.3-yard average) in late-season action. He's been working with the first unit since Thomas was sidelined.

"It's been good for Adrian," said head coach Dick Jauron. "He slips and slides, keeps his balance, keeps his pads down, moves forward all the time. He's done a nice job in the past. We've had confidence in Adrian, so it wasn't a huge revelation."

Forsey was a sixth-round pick this year, and he isn't very big or fast, but he's still been impressive at times.

"He really brings something to the table," Shoop said. "He's got some lateral quickness that's a little bit rare."

Hicks spent last season on the Bears' non-football injury list rehabbing a knee injury but was the leading rusher this spring for the Scottish Claymores of the NFL Europe.

"He has a real strong trait in that he's just plain fast," Shoop said, "one of the fastest guys on our team probably."

Abdullah has been primarily a special-teams player during his four years in the NFL, and he led the Bears with 20 hits and 18 solos last season.

"You'll see him in a lot of different positions, maybe split out catching the ball," Shoop said. "He caught a deep go route the other day on the sideline in a mismatch."


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