Barber remains sidelined with calf injury


LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Veteran running back Marion Barber remained sidelined with a calf injury on Wednesday, the only player who did not participate in any portion of practice.

"We're running out of time a little bit for Marion, but hopefully he's feeling a lot better and hopefully we'll be able to get him on the field before too long," Bears head coach Lovie Smith said.

Barber has been on the shelf since hurting the calf early in the Bears third preseason game against Tennessee.

It would be a sizeable loss for the Bears offense if Barber is unable to play against Atlanta. The theme of the preseason has been that the offense will employ a balanced attack, similar to what they did in the second half of 2010. However, that becomes more difficult when the depth in the backfield is depleted. Kahlil Bell is the only running back on the roster besides Barber and starter Matt Forte.

Barber figures to have a big role on the offense when healthy, according to Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

"He's just such a violent runner," Martz said. "He's a guy who can certainly jump cut and do all those things, but he'll take a defender on too and break tackles that way. He's kind of a complete back in that way. He's a real tough inside runner, but has the skills to get outside and is an excellent receiver. He's a guy too that will excel in short yardage.

"We need to have him healthy, we really do."

Defensive tackle Anthony Adams (calf), receiver Sam Hurd (ankle) and defensive end Corey Wootton had limited participation during Wednesday's workout.

The rest of the Bears' roster practiced without any sort of restrictions, including Chris Conte (head), Craig Steltz (hip) and Kahlil Bell (knee). All three were forced to exit the preseason finale versus Cleveland early due to injuries.