Bears TE Cole Kmet on track to play Thursday

By Chicago 3 Min Read

Coming off one of the best games of his career, Bears tight end Cole Kmet is expected to play Thursday night against the Panthers.

Kmet was listed as a non-participant because of a knee injury in Monday’s practice estimate, as the Bears were merely holding a walk-through. They had a walk-through Tuesday but upgraded Kmet to a full participant.

Kmet had six catches for 55 yards — and two for touchdowns — in Sunday’s loss to the Saints.

I think that’s the coolest part about his game is, he’s becoming more complete each and every week,” offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said.

Running back Khalil Herbert was listed as a full participant, too, and could be added to the active roster Thursday after being on injured reserve the past four games. He hurt his ankle trying to catch a Justin Fields pass against the Commanders.

Guard Nate Davis (high ankle sprain) and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (knee) remained out. Cornerback Terell Smith remains out with mononucleosis.

Cornerback Josh Blackwell and receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, who returned to practice this week as they continued to return from IR because of hamstring injuries, were full participants.

No Burns

The Panthers presume they’ll take the field without their best player Thursday night. Edge rusher Brian Burns, who was eighth in the NFL with 12 ½ sacks last season and has five this year, has both a concussion and an elbow problem.

“I’m not thinking there’s any chance of getting him, honestly,” coach Frank Reich said Monday.

Guard Teven Jenkins  called Burns a “great rusher” but said he was concerned about tackle Derrick Brown.

This and that

• Bears special teams coordinator Richard Hightower called Velus Jones’ 15-yard facemask penalty with three minutes to play Sunday “unacceptable.” The Bears held Saints speedster Rashid Shaheed to a six-yard gain otherwise without the penalty, which took place on a punt.

• The Panthers have seven players who’ve yet to participate in practice this week, including receivers D.J. Chark (elbow) and Laviska Shenault (ankle). Chark is second on the team with 229 receiving yards — less than half that of Adam Thielen, who is 13th in the NFL with 610.

“They’re looking for their second receiver,” safety Jaquan Brisker said.

• The Bears will wear orange jerseys and helmets Thursday.

  • Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy prepared to adapt game plan if QB Justin Fields plays through injury

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