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Bears injury updates: WR Earl Bennett making progress, starts running

A day after defensive tackle Henry Melton was running as part of his recovery from a concussion, wide receiver Earl Bennett did the same.

During the portion of practice open to the media on Tuesday, Bennett was jogging and stretching with his teammates. Coach Marc Trestman said it was the first time he ran.

Bennett hasn’t practiced since leaving practice on Aug. 3 with concussion-like symptoms. But progress is being made as he goes through league protocols for concussions. Melton also ran again.

“Definitely, Earl is a big miss for us,” offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. “Anytime you lose someone of that caliber and he’s not able to practice, it hurts him and it hurts the family. We’re hoping he can come back. All we can do is wait.”

Quarterback Jay Cutler definitely misses having Bennett as an option.

“I think there’s that consistency at the slot position and being able to bump him outside,” Cutler said. “Earl’s a guy that can play all three of them. He keeps everyone at ease in the huddle because he knows exactly what to do. If anybody on the outside isn’t sure, Earl can get him lined up and get him going.

“Hopefully, we get him back soon. Concussions get a little scary. There’s a lot of attention on those. We’ve just got to take it day by day. When he comes back, he’ll be an immediate play-maker for us.”

Settling things with Blanchard

The Bears reached an injury settlement with quarterback Matt Blanchard, who suffered a broken knuckle in his left hand in the exhibition against the San Diego Chargers, on Tuesday.

It was an expected move for the Bears with Blanchard working as their No. 3 quarterback. The Bears roster is now at 75 players, which it had to be at by 3 p.m., following Blanchard’s injury settlement. The Bears waived 14 players on Sunday.

The Bears are keen on Blanchard, but if they want to re-sign him they now have to wait until after Week 10 of the regular season because of the injury settlement. Blanchard, though, can sign with another team once his injury settlement expires.

The injured list

Linebacker D.J. Williams (right calf) wore his helmet and shoulder pads at practice, but is still limited. “He’s getting more work,” coach Marc Trestman said. “We’re working him every day.”

>> Trestman said running back Armando Allen (hamstring) was more active and noticeable in practice. “We haven’t seen him around for a while at that speed,” Trestman said.

>> Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (right knee) did some running, while cornerback Zack Bowman (hamstring) and running back Harvey Unga (ribs) sat out.

>> Long snapper Patrick Mannelly (ribs) practiced for the second day in a row. “Pat is doing well,” special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said. “We’ll see how that goes.”