The biggest question for the Bears heading into Sunday’s affair with the NFC South-leading Bucs: will wide receiver Earl Bennett return?
Head coach Lovie Smith has upgraded Bennett’s status (torso) to being a lot “closer” to playing this weekend, despite a report saying the Vanderbilt alum will likely be held out for Week seven’s matchup with Tampa in London.
“He is getting better every day,” Smith said. “I know I have said that. He has been getting better each day. Don’t know if he is ready to go yet but he had a good practice (Thursday) and he’s making a lot of improvement. We’re close, I’ll say that.”
“We’ve kept him out of contact work for the most part. But besides that he’s been able to do most of the stuff we’ve asked him to do. Earl is always in pretty good shape; don’t think that [conditioning] will be that much of an issue.”
I still have a hunch that the former Commodore standout will be inactive for the Buccaneers showdown.
Safety matters: Lovie also acknowledged Friday that starting strong safety Major Wright’s hip (probable) injury “could affect his status for Sunday.” Chris Harris will start alongside Chris Conte if the Florida product is unable to go.
Windy City Flyer: #23 is expected to play Sunday despite a chest injury. “I practiced yesterday,” Devin Hester said. “So after practice I felt that I was ready to go. The flight didn’t change my mind.”