Paea expects to return to practice

August, 10, 2011
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears rookie defensive tackle Stephen Paea expects to return to practice Wednesday night after sitting out a few days with a minor knee injury.

"When I'm able to practice, I go full-go in practice," Paea said. "My trainers just felt I couldn't go for two days and having that day off helped a lot. I fell and landed on both knees and kind of irritated my knee a little bit and it started swelling. My range of motion was a little [limited].

"Tonight [I should be back on the field]."

On draft day Paea, the Bears' second-round choice out of Oregon State projected himself as a better fit at the three-technique defensive tackle spot. But he has been asked to play nose tackle in training camp. With veteran Anthony Adams sidelined because of a calf strain, Paea could see increased reps at nose tackle.

"They think I'm kind of versatile and can play the nose and undertackle, so I have no problem with that," Paea said. "Being able to play both, it's going to increase my chances of playing in the game. I just want to help out the team and do what I'm told.

"I know coach [Rod] Marinelli will do a great job evaluating me on the field and seeing where I am. He'll be the one to tell me which one [defensive tackle spot] will be best for me. But right now, it's more like an experiment, and I know that's going to be really good for me."

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.



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