Bears’ Melton closer to return from concussion

Chicago Bears Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton has started

to run as he recovers from a concussion, an encouraging sign with

the season opener approaching.

Coach Marc Trestman said Melton ran Monday and will do so again

on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Bears play Cleveland in the fourth

and final preseason game on Thursday, with the season opener

against Cincinnati on Sept. 8.

Melton was injured in the first preseason game at Carolina on

Aug. 9. Receiver Earl Bennett, who has been out since Aug. 2 with

his second concussion since December, did not appear to be as far

along. Trestman said he met with the medical staff on Monday and is

day to day.

Middle linebacker D.J. Williams (right calf) did some

running.

”We’re optimistic that he’s going to be close,” Trestman

said.

Second-round pick Jon Bostic has been starting with Williams

injured and has opened some eyes with his play. Even so, Trestman

wasn’t ready to declare him the starter.

The same goes for guard Kyle Long and tackle Jordan Mills on the

right side of the offensive line.

”I am not going to hide from the fact that they did very well

last week and have continued to improve. I’m just not ready to go

the distance on exactly what we are going to do as we move forward

here,” Trestman said. ”I can stand up here confidently and say

they played well.”

He also said he plans to sit most if not all the starters

against Cleveland and that Jordan Palmer will get the nod at QB,

with Jay Cutler and Josh McCown not expected to play and Matt

Blanchard nursing a broken knuckle.

Cornerback Zack Bowman (hamstring) did not practice, while long

snapper Patrick Mannelly (rib) participated after sitting out the

past two games.