First-and-10: Marshall shaking off rust; Blanchard gets injury settlement; D.J. Williams a step closer

SHARE First-and-10: Marshall shaking off rust; Blanchard gets injury settlement; D.J. Williams a step closer

Jay Cutler usually is the center of attention at Halas Hall, but he’s a backstory this week. Jordan Palmer will start and Trent Edwards will relieve in the preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. And Matt Blanchard, recovering from a fractured knuckle on his left (non-throwing) hand, was released with an injury settlement.

Everything returns to normal next week. Cutler will be back in the forefront after the Bears complete their preseason schedule and cut their roster to 53.  Here’s a wrap-up of another eventful day at Halas Hall:

1. Brandon Marshall had an uncharacteristically poor performance in the Bears’ 34-26 preseason victory over the Oakland Raiders last week in Oakland. And now we know why: He’s still rusty after his third hip surgery.

‘‘I haven’t [had enough reps in the preseason],’’ Marshall said. ‘‘I’m just trying to get healthy for Week 1. So you’ve got to have a game plan coming off surgery, a third hip surgery. So yeah, I’m not where I want to be right now. It’s a little frustrating. But we’ll see.’’

2. Jay Cutler isn’t worried about Brandon Marshall. He actually sounded like he’s seen this act before. ‘‘It’s B,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘He’s going to take it hard for a couple of days and then he’ll snap out of it and he’ll be the guy we need next week. This week we don’t need him, so he can stay on the ledge for a couple of more days and then come back next week.’’

3. D.J. Williams did not practice, but is ‘‘getting more work’’ and still is in the running to start at middle linebacker in the season opener, according to Marc Trestman. ‘‘Each day he gets a little better and we’ll know a lot more at the beginning of next week,’’ Trestman said when asked if it’s realistic to think that Williams could start in the opner. ‘‘I’m encouraged, but I don’t know at this time.’’

4. Henry Melton and Earl Bennett ‘‘both got running in today.’’ Bennett did some work on the side. But Trestman offered no further update on their recovery from concussions. Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott also ran a little today, but did not practice.

5. Matt Blanchard might still be in the picture for the Bears. The former Lake Zurich star was waived with an injury settlement, but neither he nor the Bears know when he’ll be recovered from a fractured knuckle he suffered against the Panthers in the preseason opener. ‘‘I really liked his progress,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘We’ll see how it goes. There are so many variables between now and then.’’

6. Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards will battle it out for the No. 3 quarterback spot on the roster — if the Bears keep three quarterbacks. ‘‘They’re both really smart guys and knowledgeable,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘They’ve practiced well. What we really want to see is will they take care of the football and gain the confidence of the players and the coaches just by the their demeanor on the field and the way they handle themselves. I expect they’re going to do well.’’

7. Jordan Palmer knows this is his big chance to return to the NFL. ‘‘I feel ready t go,’’ he said, ‘‘and coach Trestman has done an unbelievable job of carving out enough time for me and Trent to get ready, while pushing the [first-team players] forward and thinking Cincinnati and the regular season. I feel like I’m in a very fortunate situation. I’m excited to play.’’

8. Kyle Long and Jordan Mills still are not officially the starters at right guard and right tackle. ‘‘We’re not ready to name them starters, yet. We’re still battling,’’ offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. ‘‘Those two have done a good job of handling the pressure. They’re not perfect. But they’ve handled the pressure and done a solid job in the games.

9. Are these the last days of J’Marcus Webb as a Bear? Webb didn’t help himself with two penalties in a reserve role against the Raiders, which to an amateur psychologist suggests Webb knows his days as a Bear are over and he’s looking forward to starting anew somewhere else.

Asked if he was surprised that Webb still was committing penalties, Kromer did the best he could with an awkward question. ‘‘Nothing surprises me in life, to be honest,’’ Kromer said. ‘‘He’s had a couple of penalties. He’s got to eliminate them. That’s his responsibility and he’s working on it.’’

10. Quote of the day: Jay Cutler when asked about low-key receivers Marquess Wilson and Alshon Jeffery: ‘‘There’s not a lot of leftover words whenever Martellus [Bennett] is around. He’s going to let it known that he’s around. It’s a good mix. ‘B’ doesn’t say much out there. Kyle Long doesn’t … shut up. Between Kyle and Martellus, it’s hard even to call the play. Those guys are talking a mile-a-minute. But it’s a good mix of old guys — young guys, outgoing guys, some guys who don’t say anything, just do their jobs.”


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