Still Hope for Jones

Despite the fact that Thomas Jones hasn't practiced all week, head coach Lovie Smith will take the decision whether or not to sit the running back as close to game time as possible.

"We would like for the guys to get at least a day in, but with our veterans, if they can go, we will play them," Smith said. "We will take that right up to game time."

Jones remains questionable with bruised ribs, but has played through the last month with injury. First it was a sprained knee and now the ribs.

Considering Cedric Benson and Adrian Peterson combined to rush for 137 yards on 20 carries in one half, resting Jones might not be a bad idea.

As Jones' regiment has been scaled back in an attempt to rest him for games, head coach Lovie Smith has seen Benson benefit from receiving additional practice reps.

"He's been better with everything, really," Smith said. "Pass blocking, the more reps he gets, the better he will be with that."

If Jones is unable to play, Benson is next in line to start, but Peterson would also get a fair amount of the workload.

G Ruben Brown and DT Tank Johnson were removed from the injury list. After missing the last four games because a partially torn pectoral muscle, Brown will return to the starting lineup.

The Bears averaged 127.5 rushing yards per game with Brown at left guard and 134.0 with Roberto Garza. Quarterback Kyle Orton was sacked nine times in the first four games and nine times in the past four.

Safety Todd Johnson (shoulder) didn't practice this week and has been downgraded to doubtful for Sunday.

Ready For More
The release of Marc Edwards made room for fullback Bryan Johnson to reclaim his starting fullback job. He started 12 games last year for the Bears and is looking forward to contributing to the NFL's sixth ranked rushing attack.

"Our running backs have good vision, speed so they can hit the holes when they're there and they have been there," Johnson said.

Offensive coordinator Ron Turner hasn't been shy about his praise for Johnson and believes he could be an added bonus in the passing game for Orton.

"From watching film from last year I know how good Bryan is at catching the ball out of the backfield and doing something with it," Orton said.

Laying Down the Law
WR Muhsin Muhammad thinks it's a lack of focus that has kept the Bears' offense from playing consistently well.

"If you call a play on two, and the offensive line jumps, or a wide receiver or running back jumps, everybody knew it was on two, so why are you jumping?" Muhammad said. "We know the snap count, they don't. I think that's a lack of focus."

The Bears had four false start penalties last week in a sloppy 20-17 win against the 2-7 Saints.

"Every now and then you may have a receiver running a bad route or a running back hitting the wrong hole," Muhammad said. "We all know what to do, but every now and then you lose your focus. From time to time we have a lack of focus and that causes us to play inconsistent."

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