Bears game time decision

Dick Jauron has several players that are banged up and will definitely miss Saturday's preseason opener against Denver, but the status of a few players has yet to be decided.

Receiver Marty Booker (strained left calf) and Ted Washington (ankle) are day-to-day and questionable for the Bear preseason opener against the Broncos. Rookie cornerback Roosevelt Williams (sprained ankle) is out, and rookie safety Bobby Gray will get the start at safety for Mike Brown, who broke a bone in his right hand early in camp.

Williams is eager to get on the field, but realizes his time will come.

Williams: "Well, it is somewhat disappointing of course. Every rookie is looking forward to that first game. It's the chance to show your stuff and to learn how the pros play when it counts. On the other hand, I've been in football for a long time. My chance will come. I'll be back soon and ready to go."

Watch for the battle at left tackle, where Bernard Robertson (No. 74) and rookie first-round pick Marc Colombo (No. 75) are expected to rotate for most of the game. Robertson currently has the edge at the position, but neither player has emerged as the overwhelming choice.

The Bears will practice at approximately 2:15 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, after departing from Bourbonnais around 11:30 a.m. Jauron said the team will work out in helmets, but not pads.

* TURF TOE: One concern Saturday is playing on Memorial Stadium's artificial surface.

"The big test is going to be what kind of shoes you're going to wear," Bears starting quarterback Jim Miller said. "I'm going to wear spikes. I know some guys are going to wear spikes and some guys flat tops.

"It's just basically what your preference is, because you can basically wear anything."

The surface is known as Astro-Play, and isn't as hard as Astroturf. It's made of crumb rubber and plastic, and almost like a pillow, according to Miller.

* BACK HOME AGAIN: Luke Butkus knows all about Memorial Stadium. The free agent center played his college ball at Illinois.

"I can't wait to get back there. Everybody says it's homecoming, but it's a little different style ball," Butkus said. "It's the NFL, it's not Illinois anymore. The team will love it. Champaign's a great place to play football."

* CLOSING TIME: The Bears will be off Sunday, and return to Bourbonnais for morning practice at 8:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Monday. The team will break from training camp Wednesday afternoon, so local fans have only three days of training camp in Bourbonnais left.

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