Benson Remains Optimistic

Chicago - After seeing his knee bend to a 90-degree angle, Bears running back Cedric Benson was 100 percent certain he'd play again this year.

He just couldn't be sure of when he'll be back after leaving with a right knee sprain in the second quarter.

"The way it feels now, I don't think it's something to keep me out the entire year, but you never know," Benson said as he stood in the locker room with a brace on the knee. He had left the field on a cart after rushing for 50 yards as injured Thomas Jones' stand-in.

"Me being able to stand here right now is another good thing," he said.

Benson had an X-ray, which proved negative for broken bones. He will have an MRI today.

Part of the reason the Bears took him with the fourth pick in the draft was his durability. He carried the ball 1,112 times in four years at Texas and said he never finished a game on the sideline because of injury.

Benson remembered little about the actual play in which he was twisted by San Francisco DT Issac Sopoaga. The training staff asked he wanted to see what happened.

"It was frightening," Benson said. "I watched one time, then turned away from the television."

Still Benson believes it might be a case that the picture is worse than the actual injury.

"I'm a pretty flexible guy, so hopefully everything will be all right," he said.

Shift on the Fly
Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner was well prepared with an alternative game plan once the 48-mph wind gusts forced the Bears to scrap plans to throw more than 13 times. His first experience as Bears offensive coordinator from 1993-96 had taught him to stick with the run.

On Halloween, 1994, he had been the coordinator in the Bears' wind- and freezing rain-blown 33-6 loss to the Green Bay Packers – the game in which the Bears retired the jersey numbers of Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers.

"I don't remember what year that was, I just know it was so bad that (guard) Mark Bortz, who was the toughest guy on the offensive line, he got in front of the heater and said that was the only time in his career he ever did that," Turner recalled. "And (quarterback) Erik Kramer came in after warmups and he said 'don't call a pass. I can't throw anything.' "

Helping Hand
Two 49ers defensive penalties led to the Bears' only offensive touchdown of the day on Adrian Peterson's 7-yard run early in the fourth quarter, and the Bears were fortunate officials didn't pay attention to the wind on one of those.

A 23-yard Kyle Orton pass to Muhsin Muhammad on second-and-eight from the 49ers' 40 went out of bounds, but the 49ers' Shawntae Spencer got flagged for a questionable pass interference. Muhammad thought the flag might get waved off as an uncatchable pass.

"On the pass interference play, I was just glad it got pass interference because right at the end as the ball was coming down the wind got it with a gust and blew the ball 5 yards out of bounds," he said. "It was just one of those deals where it was just totally unpredictable today where the ball would land."

My Bad
Kyle Orton took the blame for the only interception of the day he threw, a costly one which stopped a potential scoring drive.

Shawntae Spencer picked off a pass to Muhsin Muhammad in end zone during the third quarter with the Bears at the 5-yard line looking to go ahead 14-6.

Orton tried to look off Spencer after he had dropped off a bit in his zone coverage. He looked away from Muhammad, then threw back to him but Spencer had returned to his original spot.

"Kyle lost the corner," Muhammad said. "It was just a bad judgment."

"I figured he (Spencer) had bit on the play action and I tried to drill it in there and he kind of retraced his steps and ran right up underneath," Orton added.

Besides injured Thomas Jones (ribs), safety Todd Johnson (shoulder), tackle Fred Miller (jaw), wide receiver Bernard Berrian (thumb) and quarterback Rex Grossman (ankle), tackle Qasim Mitchell, cornerback Daven Holly and quarterback Kurt Kittner were inactive.

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