Chicago Sun-Times

Chester Taylor returns to practice; will play vs. Browns

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Running back Chester Taylor took the blame for the ''misunderstanding'' that let to him leaving Bears training camp thinking he had been cut when in fact he still was on the team.

Taylor returned to practice Tuesday after missing Monday's practice, still hoping for a chance to stay with the Bears. ''I like it here in Chicago,'' he said. ''I'm going to continue playing and we'll see what happens.''

Unless Marion Barber's injury prevents him from playing in the Sept. 11 season opener, Taylor remains a long shot to make the 53-man roster. Barber clearly is No. 2 behind starter Matt Forte. And Kahlil Bell's production as a runner, receiver and four-phase special-teams player has pushed him ahead of Taylor.

More than likely the fourth running back will be a blocking back, especially considering the possibility that the Bears will keep six receivers.

Taylor thought he was being cut when coach Lovie Smith explained to him why Taylor did not play in Monday night's 14-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans. ''I just took the words the wrong way,'' he said. "It was just a mistake."

Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said Taylor "absolutely" will play in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns. But it might take something spectacular to change his fate. No healthy non-quarterback has not played in the third preseason game and made the 53-man roster in Smith's seven years as head coach.

Taylor, who signed a four-year, $12.5 million contract ($7 million guaranteed) with the Bears prior to last season, is scheduled to make $1.25 million this season. He has rushed for 10 yards on six carries in the preseason, with one reception for six yards.

Though he's coming off a subpar season in which he averaged 2.4 yards per carry, that's not a lot of opportunities.

"Of course I want to play. I'm always disappointed when I'm not playing," he said. "But I understand the decisions they make and I've just got to deal with it."

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on August 30, 2011 9:51 PM.

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