Bears' Benson expects to be sidelined 2-3 weeks

Updated: August 8, 2006, 10:08 PM ET
Associated Press

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 weeks.

Running Back
Chicago Bears

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2005 SEASON STATISTICS
Rush Yds TD Rec Yds TD
67 272 0 1 3 0

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 it."

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 practice.

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.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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