Mannelly expects to be ready for opener

August, 11, 2013
8/11/13
4:10
PM ET
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears longsnapper Patrick Mannelly displayed a sense of humor regarding the rib injury he suffered Friday in the club’s preseason opener, while defensive tackle Henry Melton declined discussing his status after sustaining a concussion.

Melton’s silence came as a result of an NFL rule that prevents players who have suffered concussions from speaking with the media until they’ve been cleared medically to return to practice. Melton left Friday’s game in the first quarter after medical personnel diagnosed him with a concussion.

“Henry has a concussion and he’ll be in a NFL concussion protocol situation right now, and will be day to day,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said after the game.

The concussion protocol, which was implemented for the 2013 season, requires a player to pass through multiple stages -- including a five-phase rehabilitation plan -- before he is cleared by the team physician, and finally an independent neurologist to resume full-contact activities. Receiver Earl Bennett is currently working his way through the program after sustaining a concussion last weekend at Soldier Field.

It’s unlikely Melton, the club’s franchise player, will be available Thursday when the Bears host the Chargers.

As for Mannelly, the veteran doesn’t expect the blindside hit that injured his ribs on a punt in the first half of Friday’s game to keep him out of the regular-season opener Sept. 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I’ve been hit like that, I don’t know, four, five, six times. It was not the shot that hurt,” Mannelly said. “It was the pain afterwards that hurt the most. Normally, you get hit like that you kind of laugh because everybody’s gonna laugh at you on tape. So I started laughing, and when I got up I felt the pain in my ribs. I was like, ‘something’s wrong.’ A little sore, but I’m alright. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I’ve seen other people with them and they can’t move, can’t laugh, can’t sneeze. I haven’t sneezed yet, but I can laugh O.K. and everything’s all right.”

Several other players sat out of Friday’s game as a precautionary measure or because of injuries, such as receiver Brandon Marshall, defensive ends Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton (calf) and Jamaal Anderson (knee), as well as tight end Kyle Adams (hamstring), linebacker D.J. Williams (calf) and offensive lineman Jonathan Scott.

Their conditions weren’t immediately known, but Marshall and Peppers were held out for precautionary reasons, and neither is injured.

Marshall and Peppers both participated in Sunday's afternoon workout, as did Wootton (limited) and Jamaal Anderson. Harvey Unga (ribs), Joe Anderson (shoulder), Jonathan Scott, Earl Bennett (not at practice), Armando Allen (hamstring) and Patrick Trahan (excused) sat out on Sunday.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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