The Bears welcome the Cincinnati Bengals to Solider Field on Sunday.


LAKE FOREST- As the Bears make final preparations for Sunday’s season opener, they do so as one of the few NFL teams that don’t list a single player on the injury report. Considering the numerous injuries the Bears went through during training camp and the preseason, this is an accomplishment for them.

So this means that all 61 players {53 active roster and eight practice squad} are all healthy and 100-percent. Everyone has participated fully in all practices and workouts this week. Which is a very good sign after an injury plagued summer.

Linebacker D.J. Williams, wide receiver Earl Bennett, defensive tackle Henry Melton and long snapper Pat Mannelly will all play on Sunday. D.J. Williams strained a calf muscle during the first week of training camp and missed the entire preseason as a result.

He has been practicing with the starters all this week after after being limited in his workouts the previous week. While head coach Marc Trestman has yet to name a starter at middle linebacker for Sunday, it is believed that both Williams and rookie Jon Bostic {who started in the preseason} will see significant playing time.

Earl Bennett suffered a concussion during the second week of training camp and also missed the exhibition portion of the schedule. The Bears have slowly eased him back into the system as he has recovered from the injury. Coach Trestman has said that Bennett will play but did not say much playing time he will actually see.

Henry Melton sustained his head injury in the preseason opener at Carolina. Melton was back on the field before Bennett although he also was held out of the remainder of camp and the preseason. It has not been announced if Melton will be starting against the Bengals.

Pat Mannelly was also injured during the Carolina game (ribs). He could have returned before the regular season but the Bears decided to keep him out as a precaution. All other players that were injured this summer are either on injured reserve, the practice squad, or have been released.

In other Bears news, Earl Bennett has agreed to take a pay cut for this season. His base salary for 2013 will now be $1.25 million instead of the $2.25 million he was on pace to make this year. The Bears have been trying to cut costs over the last three weeks or so. Defensive end Julius Peppers also agreed to slash his pay recently.

Offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb also took a pay cut before he was released. It is believed the that the Bears have been making these financial moves to prepare for contract negotiations with Jay Cutler, Henry Melton and other players who are set to be free agents at seasons end.

The Bears have also chosen their captains for this season. The offensive captains will be Jay Cutler and center Roberto Garza. The defensive captains will be linebacker Lance Briggs and the aforementioned Julius Peppers. Pat Mannelly will be the special teams captain.

The Bears kickoff the season at Noon from Soldier Field on Sunday. CBS will carry the season opener this year. Follow me on Twitter @GabeSalgado82



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *