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Bears RB Jones practices for first time

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (Aug. 16, 2006) -- The Bears had a familiar figure on the practice field for their final workout before breaking training camp: Thomas Jones.

The team's top rusher last year, who hadn't suited up or practiced since camp began after hurting his hamstring while running during his physical, worked with the scout squad Aug. 16.

"It feels good to practice today and get back on the field. Obviously I'll do a lot more next week. Today's the first day back," Jones said.

Jones, who rushed for 1,335 yards last season, was demoted to the second team after skipping voluntary offseason workouts. But Cedric Benson, who'd been promoted, hurt his hamstring in training camp and is sidelined.

Neither played last week in the preseason opener at San Francisco. Nor will they play Aug. 18 in the home preseason game against San Diego.

Jones wasn't sure if he'd be ready for the third preseason game Aug. 25 against the Cardinals.

"I'm prepared to do whatever they want me to do, that's how I'm looking at it. Coaches and trainers wanted me to do a little bit today. I'm sure they'll want me to do more next week. However they want is how I'll go," he said.

Jones said he took it fairly easy in the final practice at Olivet Nazarene University.

Asked if he wanted to regain the No. 1 spot, Jones said he wasn't going to comment.

"That's irrelevant. I'm here to play football, I'm not here to talk about controversy and all," he said. "I'm here to do what I'm capable of doing and that's make plays."

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