Bears' Benson expects to be sidelined 2-3 weeks

8/8/2006 - NFL Cedric Benson Chicago Bears + more

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears running back Cedric Benson said Tuesday that his sprained left shoulder is no worse
than the team originally thought and expects to miss two to three

Benson underwent an MRI after X-rays initially revealed no
broken bones. He said results showed he had suffered a minor
dislocation and he is undergoing rehab.

"They feel like it will be back to normal by the time the
regular season comes," Benson said.

Benson was injured when linebacker Brian Urlacher and safety
Mike Brown both hit him on a short pass play during a Friday night
training camp scrimmage.

"I think the good thing is that it is preseason and not the
season," Benson said. "So there's no rush to get out there and I
think as long as we don't rush things and let nature take its
course, we won't have this problem again."

Benson found another positive in the situation.

"I'm lacking two weeks of preparation, but I'm also getting two
weeks of recovery," he said. "I guess that's the way to look at

Coach Lovie Smith promoted Benson to the team's No. 1 running
back slot after starter Thomas Jones missed voluntary workouts in
the offseason. Jones then suffered a pulled hamstring during a
training camp physical several hours before the Bears' first

Neither Jones nor the Bears know how long he'll be sidelined.

"A lot of guys have a hamstring injury and then you pull it or
something like that and then you come back too soon and pull it
again and now it takes longer to heal," Jones said. "I'm not the
only one being cautious. The team is being cautious."

Jones suggested the early time of his physical may have led to
his injury.

"I rarely have hamstring or muscle problems because I stretch a
lot. I'm very flexible," he said. "But 7 o'clock in the morning,
I don't know who is [loose]. You just got out of bed."

With Benson and Jones sidelined, the Bears will start fifth-year
running back Adrian Peterson in Friday night's preseason opener at
San Francisco. He'll be backed up by Bowling Green rookie P.J. Pope
and South Florida rookie Andre Hall.