Several key Bears expected to return from injury Sunday
In addition to cornerback Prince Amukamara, guard Kyle Long and wide receiver Markus Wheaton were not on Friday's injury report for the first time this year, so they are expected to play Sunday against Pittsburgh.
Even more good news, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, running back Jordan Howard and wide receiver Kendall Wright, all with shoulder injuries, were full participants in practice and will play, as will tight end Zach Miller, who missed Thursday's practice for personal reasons. Guard Tom Compton (hip) was limited and is questionable for Sunday.
Guard Josh Sitton (ribs) and inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (chest) did not practice Friday. Sitton is doubtful and Kwiatkoski is out, but there was encouraging news on him as well.
After thorough testing, his injury was determined to be not as serious as that of fellow inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, who is on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle. The Bears do not expect Kwiatkoski to need surgery, although his return is not imminent.
The Steelers have declared two starters out: rookie linebacker T.J. Watt and offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert.
Don't rush it:
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger moved into the Steelers' starting lineup in the fourth game of his rookie season in 2004. He went 13-0 as a starter with a 98.1 passer rating, helped his team make it to the AFC championship game and was heralded near and far as the Next Big Thing.
But Roethlisberger still didn't consider himself an established quarterback that season.
"I think it takes a couple years," said the 35-year-old veteran, who will make his 186th start Sunday when his team takes on the Bears at Soldier Field. "That's why I'm always slow to send too much praise, or anoint the next great quarterback after Year One. People in the media and the 'professionals' at some networks are so quick to anoint the next great.
"Let's wait and see what happens after two to three years, after defenses understand what you're bringing, (and) you're not a surprise anymore."
In this corner:
Cornerback Kyle Fuller started the first two games and played well after missing all of last season with a knee injury. But with the return of Prince Amukamara (ankle), Fuller could be the odd man out.
"I think Kyle's done well the first two games," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "I like where he's at. I like the direction he's heading in. I think he's playing better than he played in '15.
"Has he been perfect? No. We'll see how it shakes down with him and Prince and how that works this week based upon on how Prince does."
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