Patrick Mannelly deems himself ready for Week 1
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter August 27, 2013 9:28PM
Arizona Cardinals v Chicago Bears
The dean of the Bears’ roster looks like he’s ready for another season.
Long snapper Patrick Mannelly, whose 15 full seasons with the team is a franchise record, declared himself ready to play by Week 1.
He broke a rib Aug. 9 on a hit by Panthers safety Colin Jones.
“I will be 100 percent [by Week 1],” Mannelly said Tuesday after practicing for a second straight day at Halas Hall. “I’m real, real close.”
Mannelly doubted he’d play in the preseason finale Thursday against the Browns.
Brandon Hartson, the rookie signed one day after Mannelly’s injury, has snapped in two preseason games.
Roster down to 75
Twelve days after breaking a knuckle on his left hand against the Chargers, quarterback Matt Blanchard reached an injury settlement with the Bears.
The move brought the roster to 75 players, the NFL limit.
The Lake Zurich High School alum can sign with another team once the settlement expires, but he cannot rejoin the Bears until after Week 10.
“In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor speed bump,” Blanchard said.
“It’s frustrating, but things will work out.”
Blanchard impressed the Bears during camp after spending most of last season on the practice squad. Asked about a reunion, coach Marc Trestman demurred.
“I really liked his progress,” Trestman said. “Really, we’ll see how it goes as we move forward. There are so many variables between now and then.”
D.J. gets closer
Middle linebacker D.J. Williams hasn’t practiced since straining his right calf July 31 but is “getting more work,” Trestman said.
Trestman cited “improvement” in Williams’ health but was noncommittal when asked if he could start Week 1 over impressive rookie Jon Bostic.
“[Williams] has got four or five days before our first day of practice on Monday,” Trestman said. “So we’ll see how it is at that point. . . . Talking to him, he’s certainly positive that he can be ready.”
Wide receiver Earl Bennett and defensive tackle Henry Melton didn’t practice but ran while recovering from concussions, Trestman said.
It was a first for Bennett since leaving practice Aug. 3.
“When he comes back, he’ll be an immediate playmaker for us,” quarterback Jay Cutler said.
Trestman added that offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee) has been running and “improving.”
The Bears avoided another injury Tuesday. Linebacker Lance Briggs appeared to wrench his leg during practice, and Trestman ran toward him.
It was just a scare, though; Briggs waved Trestman away.
“I’m sure he’s going to be all right,” Trestman said.