Far From Over

Bourbonnais - As training camp comes to a close, there are still jobs to be won and lost with three preseason games left on the docket before the final roster has to be set.

RB Adrian Peterson, battling Brock Forsey for the third -- and probably last -- RB spot, rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries against the Rams. Forsey had five carries for 10 yards.

"Brock didn't have quite as many opportunities that Adrian had last week, but I think games two and three will show some signs, hopefully they'll be some separation," running backs coach Tim Spencer. "For those two guys special teams are vital because of Anthony Thomas and Thomas Jones so I think that's going to factor in also.

Forsey has neither the explosiveness of starter Thomas Jones nor the power of injured backup Anthony Thomas, so he needs to get the job done with other tools, like vision and cutting ability, in order to earn a roster spot this season.

When Thomas was out with a foot injury last season, Forsey the understudy stepped in and rushed for 56 yards on 19 carries against the Lions in Week Eight. Five weeks later, with Thomas sidelined with pneumonia, Forsey picked up 134 yards on 27 carries against the Cardinals. The next week it was back to reality, as Forsey netted minus-4 yards on 3 carries vs. the Packers.

Peterson, like Forsey a sixth-round pick, had been sidelined with a hamstring injury for a few days prior to the Rams' game, and he missed the final 10 games last season with a sprained ankle.

Coach Lovie Smith puts an emphasis on speed, which isn't either player's forte, but Peterson has some limited-area quickness and make-you-miss ability.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: RB Thomas Jones rushed for 53 yards on 7 carries (7.6-yard average) vs. the Rams in the preseason opener, including back-to-back runs of 17 and 26 yards.

At five-foot-10, 220 pounds there have been concerns that Jones spends too much time in the weight room, which could lead to fumbling problems. "Thomas is a workout freak. If you watch him in practice he wants to take every rep. He wants to do everything because he knows that it's going to get him better," Spencer said. "I think he's a guy that I have to watch because some of those guys can do too much and you have to sort of back them off for their own good."

ROOKIE REPORT: Second-round defensive tackle Tank Johnson has played at least as well as first-round defensive tackle Tommie Harris, and much is expected of both this season.

Johnson said both benefit from each other's presence and their shared experiences.

"Tommie and I lean on each other a lot," Johnson said. "He brings me up, and I do the same for him. I think we make the perfect combination as far as two interior linemen."

Both players are listed at 6-feet-3 and 300 pounds, but Johnson is more powerful, while Harris relies more on quickness. They are different off the field, too.

"We're like night and day," Johnson said. "Tommie's a low key, smile and smirk, and I'm just an out-loud, laughing type of person. It works for the best because he evens me out and I even him out and we end up a good tandem."

--With the neck injury to CB Jerry Azumah, rookie corner Nathan Vasher could get thrown from the nest sooner rather than later.

"He's getting paid right now," Smith said, "so we're going to definitely throw him in. But we're just going to put him at the right position. We try to ease him in as far as letting him play the corner position first. We try to let our rookies get one position down and then kind of go from there."

--Wide receiver Bernard Berrian caught one pass for 20 yards in the preseason opener but did not distinguish himself as a kickoff returner, filling in for the injured Jerry Azumah.

Berrian totaled 60 yards on three tries and appeared somewhat tentative.

--QB Craig Krenzel completed 4 of 7 passes for 33 yards in the preseason opener and appears to have a solid grasp of the offense for a rookie.

INJURY REPORT: Brian Urlacher (hamstring) is able to jog but won't be back for at least another two weeks.

--Tight end Robert Johnson (foot) and offensive tackle Marc Colombo (knee) remain on the active physically-unable-to-perform list.

--Tight ends Desmond Clark and John Gilmore are both still out with hamstring injuries, but appear closer to returning.

--Running back Anthony Thomas (abdomen) is into his second week of missed practices and continues to be classified as day to day.

--Jerry Azumah (herniated neck disk) is out 3-4 months.

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