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Thursday, October 13, 2011
Bennett returns to practice field

By Jeff Dickerson

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Injured Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett (torso) returned to the field Thursday for the first time in almost a month and practiced on a limited basis. Bennett had been running on the side at practice for the last week, and went through a workout in Detroit with the club's training staff hours before kickoff of Monday night's game against the Lions.

The receiver will not play Sunday night against the Minnesota Vikings, but could be medically cleared next week to begin participating in contact drills, according to a league source. At this point, it's possible Bennett may be ready to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 23 in London, or worst case scenario the wideout should be available following the bye when the Bears travel to Philadelphia on Nov. 7.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo admitted Monday night that Bennett may miss a few more weeks because of the serious nature of the torso injury.

Meanwhile, defensive end Julius Peppers (knee), defensive tackle Matt Toeaina (knee), cornerback Charles Tillman (hip), and right tackle Gabe Carimi (knee) all sat out practice on Thursday.

Defensive end Corey Wootton (hand) had full participation.