Bushrod improving, uncertain vs. Panthers

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Having returned to the practice field on Monday, Chicago Bears left tackle Jermon Bushrod said Wednesday that his strained right calf has responded well to treatment. Even so, Bushrod's status for Friday night's preseason opener at Carolina remains in question.

Asked if it were up to him if would he play against the Panthers, Bushrod said: "I can't see the future."

"It's all about how this thing is feeling tomorrow, tonight. I just have to evaluate it," he said. "Take it one day at a time every single day, and if it's feeling good, we'll see what they say."

Bears coach Marc Trestman said the starters, "including (quarterback) Jay (Cutler), if they're going to play, they'll play minimally in the first game."

So it's unlikely the Bears would put Bushrod at risk of re-injuring the calf, given the team's investment in the tackle as the blindside protector for Cutler.

Bushrod believes the strained calf has responded favorably because "we took our time with this thing." He suffered the injury on July 29, the same day the Bears lost defensive end Turk McBride for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

"The training staff and I kind of worked hand in hand and it's paid off," Bushrod said. "Every single day I've been out here I've done a little more, pushed myself a little more, and today was the most I've done."

With Bushrod on the shelf for so long, veteran Eben Britton received plenty of snaps with the starters at left tackle, and it appears he's made the most of the opportunity.

"He's had a very productive camp," Trestman said. "At this point, I can say he's definitely involved in being a part of this roster -- on a week-to-week basis -- the 46(-man active game day roster)."