Back on track

Beside the fact that <!--Default NodeId For Paul Edinger is 722133,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722133]>Paul Edinger</A> can still kick field goals, the sole positive to come out of the Bears loss to the Packers is that <!--Default NodeId For Anthony Thomas is 741795,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:741795]>Anthony Thomas</A> ran the ball well. The back missed a day of practice before returning to work Thursday.

A shoulder sprain that Thomas suffered against Green Bay kept him out of Wednesday's work, but he is expected to start Sunday vs. Oakland.

"He took part in all drills, he ran with the ball we didn't allow him to have contact, they wanted to give the shoulder one more day, but we think he should be OK," said Coach Dick Jauron

Thomas was more than OK on Monday night. The "A-Train" went over the century mark on the ground for the first time since Sept. 22, 2002. Thomas gained 110 yards on 13 carries including a 67-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. A 60-yard score was called back because of a holding penalty on David Terrell.

"It was a bad play, but he's a very aggressive guy," Jauron said of Terrell. "That's what we like about him. He came in there with the intent to block. He probably didn't get under control quickly enough and the player started to get away and he pulled him down. It was clearly a big play."

Despite the recent success of Thomas, the Bears still plan on using a running back by committee that will include carries for Adrian Peterson, Rabih Abdullah and even fullback Stanley Pritchett. The back with the hot hand will get the most carries, which leads most to believe Thomas could get his 20 plus carry performance since November of 2002.

"Like we've said all along, if a guy gets hot and his play is speaking so loudly that he's saying I'm the bell cow feed it to me that's going to be our plan," Shoop said. "But if not, we feel good about Adrian and Rabih as well."

While the offensive side of the ball is struggling as much as the defense, Greg Blache's unit is the one that will have at least two new faces in the starting lineup come Sunday. Rookies Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs will start in place of Jerry Azumah and Bryan Knight.

While Cameron Worrell and Chris Villarrial are probable for the match-up against the Raiders, the team received news that Keith Traylor can't go because of an arthritic knee is acting up.

Although Alfonso Boone will get the start Traylor, rookie Ian Scott could also play a bigger role.

"He's a very tough guy and a hard-working, smart player," Jauron said of Scott. "He understands the game. He's just young in the National Football League and he's worked hard every single day. He's got the size he's not a huge player as Keith is but he's got the size and the strength and the leverage. But it's certainly a different game than he's played in college."

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