Day 10: Training Camp News & Notes

Although the x-rays on Cedric Benson's injured left shoulder were negative, the extent of the damage is still unknown, and his return to action is also indefinite. Bears fans needed some good vibrations at practice considering what they were reading in the papers and hearing on the radio Saturday morning, so Rex Grossman & Company put on a show in front of a packed house in Bourbonnais.

Naturally, the first question on everyone's mind today is the health of Cedric Benson. Although we don't know much more than we did after Friday night's practice, his x-ray was negative. The results of his MRI are still to come, but he's sure to miss at least a few weeks of action no matter what. Not only does this put more pressure on Thomas Jones to heal his hamstring quickly, but Adrian Peterson has an awful lot of weight to carry as the only healthy tailback in camp with any legitimate NFL experience. As usual, here are the daily observations from a prime view in the front row:

In addition to the already established list of walking wounded, J.D. Runnels, Fred Miller, and Bernard Berrian are also taking a day of rest. Runnels and Miller were simply due a vacation day, and Berrian is battling the hip flexor injury he sustained on Friday night. With as good as he has looked so far, it will be interesting to see how the passing game performs without him ...

"We want T.J.!" chants are already starting amongst the spectators. We haven't even heard the results of Benson's MRI yet, but some Bears fans are kicking dirt on his grave already. A cynic might expect to see Jones miraculously recovered from his bum hamstring and practicing at full speed today, but the former Cavalier is still on the PUP list and will be for the foreseeable future ...

It is a huge crowd today. Just gigantic. And by far the most rambunctious since camp opened ...

One of the more interesting drills to watch is rapid fire, performed by the wide receivers. A ‘receiver' will stand in the middle of three ‘passers' and rotate clockwise as he catches bullet passes from each of them in rapid succession from about five yards away. Each player gets some cheers and mild applause if he can complete the circuit, which is usually about nine throws. A dropped ball is immediately followed by a chorus of groans, and usually, an extra ball or two bouncing off his shoulder pads ...

Bryan Johnson pulls the old stop-and-hop in the middle of a pass pattern and immediately grabs his left knee. It's a shame this guy has so much trouble staying healthy because he's tough and catches the ball well out of the backfield. But he can't leave the field on his own power and is finally carted off by a six-wheeler. The extent of his injury is unknown right now. Bears fans are inevitably getting tired of hearing that ...

It took 10 days and countless chances, but Devin Hester finally drops a punt in fielding drills. He has a tendency to catch the ball a little high, which might lead to some ricochets off his shoulder pads, but until that attempt, he's caught everything. Better now than in Week 1 against the Packers ...

Alfonso Boone has been getting lots of reps with the first team defense the last few days. Tank Johnson hasn't practiced once yet and remains on the non-football injury list, so Boone is going to see plenty of action in the tackle rotation. And with all the attention Tommie Harris commands, he'll get a chance to make some plays ...

"Mmmooooooooossse!" ...

Adewale Ogunleye does a beautiful job of staying home and holding contain on an end-around, as he snuffs out Rashied Davis for a big loss behind the line of scrimmage. With this many talented playmakers on defense, it's crucial that everyone stays within Ron Rivera's system and does their job. Freelancing and over-aggressiveness begets big plays and long touchdowns ...

"Go back to Carolina!" a deranged fan shouts in Muhsin Muhammad's direction. He wasn't taking a shot at Dante Wesley, that's for sure. Moose is going to remind everyone why he got that all that money two Februarys ago, you watch ...

Ricky Manning Jr., who is having a tremendous camp and could start on most defenses in the NFL, closes quickly and breaks up a Brian Griese pass. Griese has happy feet again today, a tendency he's shown throughout camp from time to time. He needs to start getting rid of the ball quicker, especially against this squad ...

Kyle Orton fumbles his first snap of the day. Never saw that one coming. It's not like it hasn't been happening every day for a week and a half or anything ...

Dusty Dvoracek just bulldogged Travis Leffew into the ground, and needless to say, Leffew didn't take too kindly to it. The two of them engage in a pretty heated shoving session before cooler heads prevail. It's just a matter of time before Dvoracek and Olin Kreutz get into it, and believe me, I would pay extra for a ringside seat to that fight ...

Grossman has had open receivers on fly routes the last two practices, but he keeps overthrowing them. He did it with Mark Bradley on two occasions yesterday and just misses Rashid Davis today. On the bright side, it's good to see the wideouts getting a step or two on these cornerbacks every now and then ...

Welcome to the new Justin Gage, Version 2.0. After looking like a lock to be cut a few days into camp, the former Tiger has been sensational for three or four practices in a row. He jumps high and uses his long frame to spear a pass from Grossman that would have been out of reach for most every receiver in the league ...

Grossman is nothing short of awesome in 7-on-7 drills today, picking apart the secondary like a surgeon. The pass he just delivered to Davis on a post from the slot could not have been thrown any better. Davis makes the catch, splits the corner and safety, and heads to paydirt ...

The Bears announced that Sunday's practice has been cancelled, but training camp will resume with an afternoon session on Monday, so be sure to check back then for all your daily News & Notes ...

JC


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