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Wright may be all right for opener
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/17/2010 12:01 AM

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BOURBONNAIS - Rookie safety Major Wright's finger surgery today will keep him sidelined for a while, but coach Lovie Smith isn't ruling him out for the season opener on Sept. 12 against the Lions.

And as well as the third-round pick has played in training camp and in Saturday's loss to the Chargers, Wright might still be able to crack the starting lineup. His one-on-one takedown of Chargers running back Ryan Mathews still had Smith gushing after Monday's practice.

"That tackle was as good an open-field tackle as you're going to see," Smith said. "He's has good angles (all camp), and even though we haven't practiced full speed and taken guys down, he's in position throughout, so that didn't surprise me. I've been pleased with his play overall in general, and knowing Major, we expect him to be back out on the field sooner, than later."

Wright, who had 7 tackles Saturday night, agrees with that optimistic prognosis.

"My body heals quick," he said, but also admitted that the injury was, "very frustrating. But, at the end of the day, it's still a game of football and ups and downs are always in this game."

Not that good: It wasn't just the skimpy 1.9 yards per carry (32 yards on 17 attempts) that the running backs averaged Saturday night that disappointed their position coach Tim Spencer.

"I was disappointed in a lot of things," he said. "We worked our butts off in camp. A couple of guys were able to transfer what they did in training camp to the field, and a couple guys obviously (were) not.

"We've got some technique issues in pass protection. We let a little DB (Donald Strickland) fake us out. I thought we had it corrected when we saw it happen the first time to (Matt Forte), and then it happened again to another guy (Chester Taylor). I saw some good things, but those little glaring things, I did not like."

Making a splash: Linebacker Brian Iwuh, who was signed by the Bears in May, a month after he was cut by the Jaguars, came in with the reputation of being an outstanding special teams player. But a knee injury early in camp kept him out nearly two weeks, until Monday when he returned with a flourish, picking off 2 passes.

"When I went down with the injury, I just took it upon myself to get in my playbook even more," he said. "I just studied more and tried to learn the scheme and the lingo of everything that's going on, so when I came back, I'd still be there mentally.

"It's always good to come back and get two picks, but it was also a big confidence boost for me as far as my knee and my health."

Injury update: Quarterback Caleb Hanie (shoulder), safeties Major Wright (finger) and Craig Steltz (ankle), linebackers Hunter Hillenmeyer (foot) and Matt Mayberry, wide receivers Johnny Knox (hamstring) and Earl Bennett (hamstring), long-snapper Patrick Mannelly (shoulder) and defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert (sore) all missed practice.