Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa returned to practice today at Halas Hall for the first since since suffering a sprained right knee in the season opener at Green Bay. He is expected to return to action when the team plays again Oct. 18 at Atlanta and likely return to his spot as the starter on the strong side. Wide receiver Johnny Knox was also back on the field three days after a shin injury knocked him out of the victory over Detroit.
A handful of players were given the day off, though, in the first of two practices during the bye week. Pretty much anyone that has had a minor ailment of late was rested, including defensive end Alex Brown, linebacker Lance Briggs, wide receiver Devin Hester, left guard Frank Omiyale and defensive tackle Tommie Harris.
"We need to heal up a little bit bumps and bruises and those type things,'' coach Lovie Smith said. "Also good to get some work in offense vs. defense, getting back to some of the training camp-type practices. Injury-list wise, no need in going on any of that, they guys are all getting better, we're optimistic we'll have most of the group ready to go Monday when we come back and start our preparation for Atlanta.''
The Bears will have a brief practice Thursday before a three-day weekend, and then the practice Monday will be an extra one in preparation for the trip to Atlanta. Typically, teams do not practice on Mondays during the season. The only players expected to miss the game right now are defensive lineman Israel Idonije, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday, and running back Adrian Peterson, who has a sprained right knee.
*** Rookie Johnny Knox was named the NFC special teams player of the week following his 102-yard touchdown return against the Lions. He leads the league with an average return of 35.8 yards. Danieal Manning was the league's leading kick returner last season.