Bears rule out WR Bennett vs. Vikings

December, 6, 2012
12/06/12
4:25
PM ET
Bears CelebrationDavid Banks/Getty ImagesEarl Bennett caught his first touchdown pass of the season on Sunday.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears officially ruled out receiver Earl Bennett on Thursday for their matchup against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Bears coach Lovie Smith said Bennett "is making progress," but won't be ready to play by Sunday after suffering a concussion against Seattle, making him the second player the club officially ruled out. The Bears announced earlier in the week that linebacker Brian Urlacher, who attended Thursday's practice, would miss Sunday's game as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

"Earl Bennett is not playing this week," said Smith after the workout inside the Walter Payton Center. "We have two guys out."

In other injury news, backup running back Michael Bush (ribs) sat out his second consecutive practice, along with Tim Jennings (shoulder), who Smith said hasn't yet been ruled out for the matchup against the Vikings although it's unlikely he'll play.

"Michael Bush is making progress, but he didn't practice today. Tim Jennings is getting better, also," Smith said. "The rest of the guys all practiced on a limited basis."

After returning to the practice Wednesday to work in a limited capacity, receiver Devin Hester missed the portion of Thursday's workout open to the media as he was being evaluated by doctors, but returned later to participate on a limited basis, which likely means he hasn't yet been cleared for full contact.

The Bears also listed guard/tackle Gabe Carimi (hamstring) as participating in a limited capacity along with Chris Spencer (knee) and defensive tackle Stephen Paea, who missed Wednesday's practice but returned Thursday for a limited workout.

Rookie Alshon Jeffery (knee) was limited in his second consecutive practice, but the Bears expect him to return to the lineup Sunday after he sat out of the last two games recovering from a Nov. 21 arthroscopic knee surgery.

Jeffery missed five games with a fractured right hand prior to suffering the knee injury Nov. 19 at San Francisco that resulted in him sitting out the last two contests.

Spencer's status, meanwhile, remains uncertain. A source said the club is optimistic Spencer will be available to play against the Vikings, but the club might still opt to start Edwin Williams opposite Gabe Carimi at guard.

Defensive end Jared Allen (shoulder/back) and running back Adrian Peterson (coach's decision) sat out of practice for the Vikings. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (shoulder), linebacker Jasper Brinkley (shoulder), offensive tackle Phil Loadholt (ribs/knee) and cornerback Antoine Winfield (knee) were limited.

The Vikings listed punter Chris Kluwe (knee) and defensive tackle Letroy Guion (shin) as participating fully.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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