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RB Armando Allen makes Bears’ practice squad

Running back Armando Allen lost close battle with Lorenzo Booker but showed enough make Bears’ practice squad. | AP

Running back Armando Allen lost a close battle with Lorenzo Booker but showed enough to make the Bears’ practice squad. | AP

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Updated: October 3, 2012 6:21AM



How close was the competition between Lorenzo Booker and Armando Allen for that third running back spot?

Well, they even had to share a locker Thursday night in Cleveland.

That’s closeness.

By Friday, Booker was the winner when the Bears announced their 53-man roster, and Allen wasn’t on it. But on Saturday, they were reunited. Sort of.

The Bears announced their practice squad eight days before the opening kickoff of the regular season, and Allen was one of eight players to make the cut.

Not that there was a lot of separation between Allen and Booker, especially in that last victory against the Browns.

Allen ran for 83 yards on 16 carries and caught five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. He also showed that he was special-teams-worthy, stripping a ball that was recovered by punter Ryan Quigley.

Booker, who had a 105-yard kickoff return against the Washington Redskins in the preseason, had 81 yards on 15 carries in Cleveland and caught four passes for 16 yards, making the night almost a wash.

But the Bears’ staff likely had its mind set on Booker beforehand because he’s such a change-of-pace back to Matt Forte and Michael Bush.

“My whole thing was coming out here and ending the last day of camp on a good note,’’ Allen said of his final performance. “And I thought I did that.

‘‘There was never anything between me and Booker. We both know that we’re great players, and the whole camp was about going out there and trying to make plays.

“We’re very, very talented backs. All we can do is go out there and show that when our number is called. Decisions like this are never in your hands. All you can do is show what you’re capable of.’’

As for the rest of the practice squad, the complaints of carrying only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster lasted only 24 hours.

The team announced that Matt Blanchard was back in a Bears uniform.Blanchard was signed as an undrafted free agent, and his preseason resum

é included completing 9 of 16 passes for 94 yards with an interception.

The Bears also added wide receiver Joe Anderson, running back Harvey Unga, offensive tackles Cory Brandon and James Brown, defensive end Aston Whiteside and cornerback Isaiah Frey.

The roster is far from finished, however, with the next anticipated move being defensive tackle Amobi Okoye signing as long as he passes his physical.



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