Scott on verge of return after knee drained

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott missed practice Tuesday to spend the day with team doctors, but the Chicago Bears received some positive news about his recovery.

Sidelined with knee swelling for a good portion of training camp, Scott is expected to return in the coming days after medical personnel recently drained fluid from the veteran's sore knee and after an exploratory examination found no structural damage.

"It looks like it's gotten better," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "We should see some movement in the right direction in the next few days and the next week. He was actually with the doctors today. [Head athletic trainer] Chris [Hanks] came over to tell me that, said the results were very good. I didn't get specific with him, but he was positive about Jonathan getting back to us next week."

Scott, a seven-year veteran, has experienced swelling in his knees in the past and missed some time last season, his first with the Bears.

Scott's return will be welcomed considering the team is in the heat of a competition to find its starting right tackle. Incumbent J'Marcus Webb was moved to the second team, where he'll back up Jermon Bushrod at left tackle, and rookie Jordan Mills was elevated to the first team on the right side.

When Scott gets back to practicing, the competition will include him, Webb, Mills and veteran newcomer Eben Britton.

Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said Scott's absence gave the team a chance to take long looks at younger players.

"It's the next guy up, and it gives a young guy an opportunity to make the team," Kromer said.

A seventh-year veteran, Scott started in 12 games for the Bears last season, and allowed only one sack.

In other injury news, long-snapper Patrick Mannelly (ribs), and running backs Armando Allen (hamstring) and Harvey Unga (ribs) were held out of Tuesday's workout along with defensive end Cheta Ozougwu and linebacker D.J. Williams (calf).

Receiver Earl Bennett and defensive tackle Henry Melton were not with the team at training camp. Both stayed at their respective homes as they continue to go through the new concussion protocol. Neither is expected to play Thursday against the San Diego Chargers.

Here are some other observations from Tuesday:

• Trestman said he expects wide receiver Brandon Marshall and defensive ends Julius Peppers and Corey Wootton to see action Thursday after all three sat out the preseason opener.

• Trestman gave his players a small break by allowing them to practice without pads in front of fans and media for the first time since July 27. Tuesday marked the final practice open to the media, but Bears players will remain in Bourbonnais until the completion of a walk-through practice on Wednesday.

• Six-foot-6 tight end/H-back Fendi Onobun may have dropped a sure touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone in the Bears' preseason opener, but the former college basketball player apparently received high marks in the blocking department after the coaches graded the game film.

"Fendi did a nice job," Kromer said. "For the first time out, and his first live-game situation ... he's a basketball player that has come out to play football. He's been practicing on teams, but he hasn't gotten in games. I think he has three reps in a preseason game prior to last week, and he did a very nice job being in that situation blocking."

Onobun's problem in camp hasn't been finding a way to get open, it's been catching the football. Still, it doesn't sound as if the Bears are ready to give up on the player the organization identified in the offseason as a possible replacement for Evan Rodriguez, the team's 2012 fourth-round draft choice whom general manager Phil Emery released following a pair of run-ins with the law in a span of a couple months.

• The Bears knew 2013 sixth-round pick defensive end Cornelius Washington needed to be taught the necessary technique to flourish in the NFL. However, from a pure talent standpoint, Bears defensive line coach Mike Phair says Washington has not disappointed.

"He's got all the tools," Phair said. "All the parts he's putting together right now. We just need him to keep going and keep working on getting off the line of scrimmage. If he keeps getting reps, he'll keep learning."

Washington is still working toward understanding where he needs to place his hands on offensive linemen when he moves upfield, but the Georgia product had a decent performance against the Panthers, collecting a pair of tackles and one tackle-for-loss. After the top three defensive ends on the roster (Peppers, Wootton, Shea McClellin), Washington is right there on the next tier with veterans Kyle Moore and Ozougwu.