Core players on 'D' cautious about returns

901647.png

Core players on 'D' cautious about returns

The Chicago defense allowed yardage but only three passing touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, whose 33 scores through the air are second only to Drew Brees and New Orleans 36 TD passes.
And the Bears managed that without two linchpin players in their pass defense: linebacker Brian Urlacher, cornerback Tim Jennings and defensive tackle Henry Melton, the latter two among the leaders in fan voting for the Pro Bowl because of their work against the pass.
Jennings (shoulder separation) and Melton (clavicle) are closest to returning for the game against Arizona. Both practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and expressed guarded optimism about facing the Cardinals.
We just want to make sure that we prevent anything from happening, Jennings, who was injured making a tackle late in the Seattle game, said. Of course if it happens again it could be further damage. I feel good, body feels well enough to continue playing at a high level.
I just want to definitely make sure my shoulder is where it needs to be strength- and flexibility-wise to go out there and help contribute and help the team win. I know if I feel like I cant help them at all, then Im no good out there. I want to continue to make sure its where it needs to be.
Melton is third among defensive tackles with six sacks and the primary interior force against pass protection. He was forced out of the game in Minnesota after falling on the turf and, like Jennings, the goal is to get him on the field but with the smallest possible risk of re-injury.
Reduced work is more kind of precautionary, Melton said. I could definitely play through it, but they dont want anything worse to happen to it that would keep me out of the playoffs or something like that. Were going to see how it feels and maybe give it a go.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Fremd's Grace Tworek

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Fremd's Grace Tworek

This week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week is Fremd senior Grace Tworek. 

Tworek has led the Vikings on and off the court this season. Last week, the Harvard commit put up a career-high 29 points in a win over Wheeling. 

Learn more about Tworek's success in the video above. 

Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

paris-lee-1209.jpg

Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

CSN will have two Missouri Valley Conference games with local teams on Saturday. 

The first game tips at 3 p.m. live on CSN as Evansville heads to Loyola. The second game tips at 7 p.m. and is also live on CSN as Drake will play at Illinois State.

Loyola (13-7, 3-4) is coming off of a tough road loss in double overtime to Northern Iowa. The Ramblers have been led by senior Milton Doyle this season as the former Marshall star is one of the better guards in the Valley.

Evansville (10-10, 1-6) has dropped five straight games as they're struggling to gain any momentum in conference play. Senior guard Jaylon Brown is having an outstanding season for the Purple Aces as he's putting up 21.2 points per game.

The second matchup has Drake (6-13, 4-3) traveling to Illinois State. The Bulldogs have won three of four games and junior guard Reed Timmer is dangerous while former Saint Viator product Ore Arogundade is having a solid sophomore season. 

Illinois State (15-4, 7-0) is leading the Valley after a huge win over Wichita State as they've won eight straight games. The Redbirds are hoping to make a run to an NCAA tournament bid with another home win.