Bears' LB Brian Urlacher practices

Updated: August 31, 2010, 12:14 AM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill -- Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher fully participated in Monday's practice, his first official action since straining his left calf early in the first quarter versus Oakland on Aug. 21.

The linebacker began testing out the injured calf last week by running sprints at full-speed.

Also making returning Monday were: wide receiver Earl Bennett (hamstring) and quarterback Caleb Hanie (shoulder sprain).

Bennett tested out his hamstring by running pass patterns for roughly 10-15 minutes in advance of the fourth preseason game, after working on the side for much of the past two weeks.

"It felt good to get back out here in the swing of things," Bennett said. "I'm just trying to get myself all the way back. I'm definitely trusting my hamstring, it's feeling a lot better. The training [staff] guys are doing a great job of making sure I take the proper steps."

The wide receiver said he wants to play against the Browns, but if that doesn't happen, Bennett claims to have a firm grasp on the offense, despite being hurt for most of the preseason.

"I've been staying in my playbook, staying mentally focused and just making mental notes on the field," Bennett said.

Hanie started throwing on the side last week after suffering a sprained right AC joint in the Bears preseason opener in San Diego. Although the quarterback appeared to throw Monday without limitations in individual drills, he's not expected to officially return until the regular season opener on Sept. 12.

"Caleb is getting back into the mix as far as being able to do a few things," Bears head coach Lovie Smith said. "He's not there yet, but again, he doesn't have to be. He is making progress and is a lot better along this week, naturally of course, then he was last [week]."

Meanwhile, Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs sat out Monday's practice and has been ruled out for Thursday's preseason finale in Cleveland.

"His ankle is getting better," Smith said of Briggs. "He won't play this play this week but should be ready to go next week."

Nick Roach (knee), Craig Steltz (ankle) and Chester Taylor were also held out Monday.

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.