"If I'm a fan or somebody just reading the paper and I pick it up, to me, it says even though the Bears are in first place in their division, Muhammad just cares about his own personal stats," Muhammad said. "And that's not true. I think that's an injustice to what I'm bringing to the team."
Despite averaging just 11.4 yards per catch and reaching the end zone twice though seven games, Muhammad is about where he was a year ago when he set career highs in nearly every category. He currently has 34 receptions for 368 yards. A year ago with the Carolina Panthers he had 31 grabs for 396 yards and four touchdowns.
The loss of Mark Bradley for the remainder of the season and Bernard Berrian for another seven weeks leaves Muhammad without a speed compliment. He has stated he's not a possession receiver, but has just one reception over 25 yards.
"Everybody gets frustrated when you know you can make the play, you want to make the play and help the team win, and you don't have the opportunity," said offensive coordinator Ron Turner. "He's a great guy. He's not selfish at all. He wants to win, and he understands there's more to it than him being open and 'How come I didn't get the ball?'
"He understands it all has to play in. He's an important part. He's been working hard and he's been helping Kyle and helping everybody else."
RB Thomas Jones is stockpiling injuries as his rushing totals rise. After playing the last three games with a sprained knee, he didn't finish the game at Detroit because of bruised ribs.
In order to try to protect himself from further damage, Jones could wear a flak jacket to protect his ribs against the Saints. Following the injury in Detroit, a Jones fumble cost the Bears a chance at a go-ahead field goal. He said there isn't a danger of similar even with the additional padding between him and the ball.
"It's just an extra piece of equipment to give you a little more protection for your ribs," Jones said. "That's it. It really doesn't hinder you as far as your running or holding onto the ball or anything."
G Ruben Brown (pectoral) missed another day of practice and remains questionable. P Brad Maynard (calf) continued a limited workweek by missing practice for a second straight day, but is expected to be available Sunday. DT Tommie (groin) missed practice on Thursday, but is listed as probable and is expected to start. CB Charles Tillman (quad) was removed from the injury report. RT John Tait and TE Desmond Clark were excused from practice for personal reasons.