- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Bears weakside linebacker Lance Briggs sat out Monday's practice because of an ankle injury suffered in the third preseason game against Arizona.
Briggs skipped the preseason finale last Thursday, but the team expects him to play against Detroit in the regular-season opener Sunday.
Fellow linebacker Nick Roach returned to the practice field Monday for the first time since having his left knee scoped on August 24. Roach is expected to open up the season as the second-team strong side linebacker behind starter Pisa Tinoisamoa.
"I'm feeling good," Roach said. "I'm feeling better than before the surgery, which was pretty much the goal of it. Now it's just a matter of getting back in shape to play in a game. This was the first day of running around a lot and doing full speed drills and stuff, so it's just kind of a relief [to be back].
"It's always tough to miss time, but at least it was the preseason, so it wasn't like valuable [regular] season time. I'm just excited to get back out there."
Backup middle linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer also participated Monday after failing to make the trip to Cleveland for undisclosed reasons.
Meanwhile, Craig Steltz is making progress in his attempt to recover from a high ankle sprain. The safety wore a helmet while running on a side field, while rookie safety Major Wright was not wearing any special non-contact jersey during individual drills in the open portion of practice.
Wide receiver Earl Bennett was also on the practice field Monday after missing all four preseason games with a hamstring injury.
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.