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Melton expected to be ready for opener

8/28/2013

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton is expected to be medically cleared next week from a concussion and be ready for the regular season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 8.

Melton, who suffered the concussion on Aug. 9, wore a helmet and participated in the individual open portion of practice on Wednesday, but he is remains off-limits to the media, per NFL rules.

"All indications are he is progressing that way (to be cleared by next week), yes," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "When Monday shows up I don't know what the doctors are going to say, but the indications are if not by Monday then by Wednesday."

However, Trestman isn't exactly sure what kind of physical shape Melton will be in after missing the last couple of weeks.

"It's a question mark," Trestman said, "He's still getting himself back into shape and he's got four or five more days to do that. We're working with him to get him up to speed. His number of reps could change due to his conditioning level a week from Sunday (versus the Bengals), but we've got some time."

Wide receiver Earl Bennett (concussion) continues to be listed as day-to-day, but Bennett ran routes and caught passes on a side practice field on Wednesday. Bennett has been sidelined since Aug. 2.

"Earl came out and ran today," Trestman said. "He was out here earlier and had a helmet and shoulder pads and was out here running around. He caught some balls out here in practice. He is still day-to-day, but it's encouraging. He's been released to work and begin his re-conditioning process. So that's a good sign."

In other injury news, cornerback Zack Bowman (hamstring), linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee) and defensive tackle Corvey Irvin (ankle) all sat out practice on Wednesday.

Bowman's hamstring injury isn't believed to be serious.

Also, linebacker D.J. Williams did limited work at practice as he continues to recover from a serious calf injury.