Biggs: Bears' Harris goes through rare hump day practice

LAKE FOREST, Ill.—Apparently, a week off was just what Tommie Harris needed.

The Chicago Bears’ defensive tackle had full participation in practice on Wednesday, the first Wednesday practice he has gone through this season, and is on course to return to the starting lineup Sunday against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field a week after he was benched.

“I thought he looked pretty good doing everything,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. "As much as anything it's about practicing and getting better. The only way we can get better really is to practice. It was good to see Tommie back on the practice field today.’’

Harris is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the Bears’ hope is that a week off would put Harris in the right frame of mind and the right place physically with a chronic left knee for him to elevate his level of play heading to the midpoint of the season. The club has been in a real catch-22 with him. He needs to be rested to ensure he can last the season on the knee, but he also needs to be on the practice field with new line coach Rod Marinelli in order to improve. Harris’ treatment routine was adjusted last week, and the plan now is for him to be more available for practice.

“It's not like I've had a problem with Tommie practicing,’’ Smith said. "Physically, we've chosen to keep him out to try to let him get in a little bit better position to play on Sunday. Giving him the week off last week we feel like we're ahead of the 8-ball a little bit but it's not like he's (hung) up about practicing. He wants to practice.’’

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