BOURBONNAIS -- A day after moving into the starting lineup for injured 10th-year middle linebacker D.J. Williams (calf), rookie Jonathan Bostic was given the added responsibility of calling defensive signals when 11th-year veteran weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs was given Thursday off to rest.
With Briggs expected back today, Bostic will be able to focus on just his assignments for the immediate future, with Williams probably out at least another week.
The second-round pick said he appreciates the veteran presence in the linebackers' meeting room, which also includes eighth-year veteran strong-side starter James Anderson.
"You really don't get too much of a chance to come into a meeting room like that with that many veterans who have played that many years of football," he said. "I'm just trying to learn from them every day. I'm always asking them questions."
He's already getting an opportunity to show what he's learned, sooner than anyone expected.
"I've just got to come out and prove myself every day to them," he said. "They've been in this league for a long time. So I've got to come out here and earn their respect. It's not going to be given."
Coach Marc Trestman likes what he's seen so far.
"Jon is a very mature guy," he said. "He's been around football a long time. He's from a football family. He's got a real presence to him, an even-keeled demeanor. When the ball is snapped, he runs to the ball. He's got to step up. He's got an opportunity here, and not only does he have to do it there, he's got to do it on special teams because he's going as a top-line special-teams player as well. It's encouraging."
Bostic's father, Jon, played defensive back for three years for the Lions.
Defensive end Corey Wootton was unable to finish Thursday's practice after suffering a hip injury, and he was scheduled for an MRI later in the day.
"Corey is day-to-day," coach Marc Trestman said. "We don't think it's serious."
Offensive left tackle Jermon Bushrod remained out for a third straight practice but was walking without a limp at lunch without the aid of the protective walking boot he's been sporting. Linebackers Lance Briggs (rest) and D.J. Williams (calf), cornerback Tim Jennings (excused absence), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee) and defensive lineman Jamaal Anderson (knee) also did not practice.
Shaky succession plan:
Dan Hawkins, who succeeded Marc Trestman as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes, was fired after just five games and a 2-3 record, much to the dismay of the Bears' coach.
"I haven't followed it closely, but I've certainly followed it," Trestman said. "I know Dan very well. He's a friend of mine. We had him in Raleigh when we worked with our (Alouettes) staff during the off-season.
"I'm disappointed for Dan and trust that (general manager) Jim Popp will do what's in the best interests of his team. I don't know the whole story so I can't comment any further than that. I just wish the Alouettes well. I love the players there. They're family, and they're 2-3 and in first place, so we'll see what happens over the course of the season."
Popp has replaced Hawkins as the Als' coach.