Jones in rush to contribute for Bears

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill.– Kevin Jones burst through the seam, sidestepped a defender as he cut to his right and, in a flash, he was off.

BOURBONNAIS, Ill.– Kevin Jones burst through the seam, sidestepped a defender as he cut to his right and, in a flash, he was off.

Well, he might have been if this wasn’t just a practice drill. Still each little glimpse of that explosion serves as a reminder of what he used to be and what he hopes to become for the Bears this year.

Plagued by injuries in Detroit and barely able to perform in his first season in Chicago, Jones finally feels like his old self and believes he could be the second man behind Matt Forte in a solid one-two punch at running back.

“I feel good, just healthy, getting in the rhythm on all my plays,” Jones said.

Getting to this point has been a difficult process.

A first-round pick by the Lions in 2004, Jones rushed for 1,133 yards as a rookie before the injuries started to mount.

There was the foot injury that sidelined him for the final three games of 2006 and the first two in 2007. He then ran for at least 70 yards in five games, including a season-high 105 at Chicago, before tearing the ACL in his right knee Dec. 23 against the Kansas City Chiefs and had surgery the following month.

At the time, Dr. James Andrews told Jones he would need up to 10 months to get back on the field, yet the Bears signed him to a one-year contract in July – four months after the Lions cut him – thinking he could compete with Forte for the starting job.

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AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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