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Only a matter of time for tight end Martellus Bennett

Updated: September 22, 2013 6:38AM



Of all the noted weapons quarterback Jay Cutler has at his disposal — receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, running back Matt Forte and tight end Martellus Bennett — only one has yet to be highlighted in some form this preseason.

Bennett, who was signed for his pass-catching skills, hasn’t caught a pass this preseason. He’s looking forward to more opportunities Friday against the Oakland Raiders with the starters getting more playing time.

“I’m always hoping to get a couple of targets every week,” Bennett said Tuesday. “I haven’t played a full quarter of football yet. I’ll probably play 21/2 quarters, so I still got two quarters before it’s a whole game. Maybe I’ll have a good second half.”

Coach Marc Trestman said the Bears had a couple of calls designed for Bennett last week against the San Diego Chargers, but that field position and coverages led to Cutler going elsewhere.

Bennett, of course, will remain a big part of the Bears’ plans.

“It has to do with, what is our offense asking us to do?” offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. “We’ll call a play that Marshall is the primary on one and that Martellus Bennett is the primary on the next. If that’s covered by coverage, then he’ll throw it to somebody else. And that’s football.”

On the mend

Receiver Earl Bennett and defensive tackle Henry Melton missed practice again because of their concussions, but it was a good sign that both were present and watched.

Bennett and Melton didn’t attend the final practices of training camp in Bourbonnais. Neither was present during the portion of practice open to the media Monday.

Bennett has been sidelined longer than Melton. Cutler, who has a concussion history like Bennett, said you have to side with caution.

“I think any time anybody gets concussions, there is going to be concern,” Cutler said. “That’s really been highlighted these past couple of years — concussions. Hopefully, [Bennett] will get back for us sooner rather than later, but I think we are going to take all the precautions and make sure he is 100 percent.”

No surgery for Blanchard

Quarterback Matt Blanchard’s broken knuckle in his left hand will not require surgery. He was throwing the ball around during the portion of practice open to the media, but he remains out for the foreseeable future.

In other injury news, offensive tackle Jonathan Scott remains out, despite recent surgery to drain fluid from his right knee.

Linebacker D.J. Williams (right calf), defensive end Cheta Ozougwu (hamstring), running back Harvey Unga (ribs), long snapper Patrick Mannelly (ribs) and defensive tackle Corvey Irvin (ankle) also sat out.

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

Twitter: @adamjahns



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