Benn returns to practice

Updated: September 8, 2009, 10:07 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Illinois junior wide receiver Arrelious Benn returned to practice Tuesday and is expected to play against Illinois State this weekend after suffering a sprained ankle in Saturday's loss to Missouri.

"I feel good," said Benn before practice on Tuesday. "I ran yesterday and caught some balls, and it felt pretty good. I'm not 100 percent yet, but I'll be working with the trainers a lot this week. We'll see how it feels day by day, but I plan on playing Saturday."

Benn caught one pass for nine yards before suffering the injury and spending the rest of the game in the locker room. Illinois' offense scored a total of nine points without him.

Last season, Benn led the Illini with 67 receptions and 1,055 yards. He is considered a top-10 pick in the 2010 NFL draft, according to ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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