LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- It was difficult to tell that Chris Conte wore a shoulder harness under his pads to protect his right shoulder from popping out of place in the Bears' rout over the Indianapolis Colts. The free safety did not appear to be limited as he recorded four tackles, broke up two passes, and intercepted a deflected ball in the end zone and returned it 35 yards.
But it's impossible for Conte ignore the injury when he's the field, especially since the odds of recurrence are high when it comes to a shoulder dislocation.
"You can't think about it too much, but what I focus on doing is not going in there and throwing my shoulder too much; kind of wrapping up and grabbing guys a little bit more, instead of throwing my shoulder in there," Conte said. "I thought about it a little bit today, which probably isn't great, but I think the more I play I won't think about it as much. Whenever you get injured you're thinking about that injury a little bit, but you can't too much. As time goes on I'm sure I'll gain more confidence in it and not think about it as much."
Conte is still learning to play with the harness; a device that is designed to hold the arm in place. However, one of the negatives of wearing the harness is that it slightly restricts range of motion, which could be an issue for a defensive back making a play on the football.
"It's (my range of motion) restricted, but I can put my hands everywhere in front of me, so catching the ball is fine," Conte said. "It's just the movement (when my hands go) back (behind my head and shoulders) that is (restricted). But I felt fine with it. It does kind of restrict my arm motion when I'm running, but besides that, it allows me to play and isn't too bothersome."