Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) fights off Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson after a catch in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Jeffery Latest Bear to Miss Practice
The Chicago Bears are heading into an off-day at training camp on Tuesday, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for several members of the team. Tim Jennings is still sidelined with a quad injury, and Jeremiah Ratliff was given the day off by the coaching staff to rest. The big news in Bourbonnais Monday however was the absence of Alshon Jeffery from the drills.
Jeffery has a sore foot according to Marc Trestman, and is considered day-to-day at this time. He was still on the field in his uniform pants and jersey, but didn’t have a helmet on and didn’t participate in any drills. He was replaced by a rotating cast of receivers during the session, with Marquess Wilson, Josh Morgan and Chris Williams all taking routes with Jay Cutler throwing to the first teamers.
Chris Conte and Craig Steltz also remain sidelined at practice, with Kyle Long also missing Monday’s session as he was evaluated by team doctors. If he’s declared healthy after battling a viral infection over the weekend, he could potentially return to the field Wednesday when the Bears resume practice.
On-Field Skirmishes Continue as Camp Rolls Along
After a relatively peaceful practice Sunday following Jordan Mills and Lamarr Houston’s Saturday confrontation, tempers flared again in Bourbonnais Monday. Taylor Boggs got into a bit of a shouting match with Trevor Scott early in the session, and then late in the practice it was Joe Long’s turn as he got into a shoving match with Cornelius Washington. That scuffle ended with both players on the ground before being pulled apart by teammates.
Training camp conflict is definitely a part of the drill in the NFL, but it’s been interesting to see how quickly things have gotten ratcheted up in the early days of camp. The defense especially is eager to prove that they won’t be pushed around by anyone this season, and they seem to be sending that message early on at this camp.
Ford, Carey Surprised at Big Fan Turnout for Camp
When the Bears roll into training camp, they tend to draw some massive crowds, and this camp has been no exception, with nearly 10,000 fans in attendance at Sunday’s practice at Olivet Nazarene University.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this crowd,” running back Ka’Deem Carey said of the legions of fans that had descended upon Bourbonnais. “This is like a massive high school football game. It brings excitement to practice and makes you want to do better.”
“A lot of people wonder why we’re able to practice for so long, and it’s honestly because of the fans,” running back Michael Ford added. “We also use the little kids that come out here as motivation, because we were in their shoes when we were younger too. It really inspires us to keep playing and fighting out there.”
Odds and Ends
-Making great catches in camp is something that happens on a regular basis, but Martellus Bennett looked especially good on Monday after dropping a couple of passes on Sunday. He made a very athletic touchdown grab in 11-on-11 drills early in practice after Ryan Mundy couldn’t haul in an interception, and Bennett also split the defense on a route late in the session to snare another touchdown, with Mundy once again bearing the brunt of his physicality.
Matt Forte also got into the act in one-on-one drills, beating Shea McClellin off the line and blazing a trail to the end zone for a catch from Jimmy Clausen. Clausen wasn’t done tossing touchdowns either, as he led the Bears down the field on a late drive and found Micheal Spurlock over the top for a score.
-Early on in the non-padded drills, Jordan Mills looked like he was a step slow off the line on some of the snaps, and that trend has continued in the last few practices. Willie Young took him to school several times during drills today, batting down several passes and getting to Cutler in the pocket on more than one occasion.