First, 49ers S Tony Parrish broke his left leg and ankle. Then Bears rookie Cedric Benson left yesterday's game with a sprained right knee.

Benson is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today after being taken off the field on a cart in the second quarter of his first NFL start. As he was being hit for a two-yard loss by San Francisco's Isaac Sopoaga, Benson's right leg twisted under him.

"We don't really know yet," said Benson, wearing a brace as he stood in front of his locker. "They don't know what's torn, or if it's just strained."

Benson said X-rays were negative, but his knee was sore.

Benson had completed an 18-yard run earlier in the series, and he left the game with 50 yards on 12 attempts in a 17-9 victory.

"I was off to a good day," he said. "That's an amazing offensive line. They can march it down the field on a consistent basis, avoid negative plays."

Benson started in place of leading rusher Thomas Jones, who was inactive with sore ribs.

Benson, the No. 4 pick in last April's draft, left Texas as the sixth leading rusher in NCAA Division I-A history with 5,540 yards. He held out of training camp in a contract dispute and did not play in the preseason but had run well as a backup in the previous two games.

* PARKER OUT: Steelers leading rushing Willie Parker was held out of last night's game against Cleveland with a sprained ankle, and Duce Staley got the start.

Parker, who has 615 yards in eight games, was hurt during a 20-10 victory at Green Bay last week. Staley took his place and rushed for 76 yards in his first action since the AFC championship game against New England in January.

The Steelers also released CB Willie Williams, a starter most of last season who has been inactive five games this season.

-- From News Services