- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Having missed the majority of the offseason recovering from arthroscopic hip surgery, Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall expects a full workload when the team hits the field Friday for its first on-field workout at training camp.
The team conducted the bulk of its offseason work without Marshall and No. 2 receiver Alshon Jeffery (pulled hamstring at organized team activities in June) on the field together. But the Bears expect both fully healthy on the field for the first workout, in addition to everyone else on the 90-man training camp roster. No player is expected to miss time or begin training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
"No limitations," Marshall said, "but we're gonna be smart. I'm going on my eighth year, (have) had a few hip surgeries, nothing major. But at the same time, we start playing games in September. So that's what I'm preparing for. It's important to get out there with your teammates, build that chemistry, learn the offense, get reps. But at the same time, if I'm not healthy, all that doesn't matter. So I'm going to listen to my body, and go as it tells me."
While unlikely, Marshall's body could be aching after Wednesday's conditioning test consisting of each player running three sets of 300-yard shuttle runs, which they must finish at predetermined times based on position. Bears coach Marc Trestman called the conditioning test an "accountability exercise," adding that the required finishing times for the players were "minimal." Based on what Trestman saw from the team at minicamp in June, the coach anticipated every player would pass the test.
"It's an opportunity to see that if somebody is not ready to go, it's a safety issued because those are going to be the guys on the ground (during drills because of fatigue)," Trestman said. "Based on what I saw in the spring, there isn't anybody who should have trouble finishing it. If he doesn't, that's just a signal that his coach needs to give him a little more conditioning to get up with the rest of the guys. There's not going to be major sanctions here to anybody. It's an opportunity to see where the guys are, and we're protecting the team. We're giving the players a chance to see each other and the kind of commitment they've made over the summertime."
As for the team executing its new offense for entire offseason without Marshall and Jeffery on the field at the same time, Trestman preferred to take the viewpoint of an optimist. With the team's top two receivers out of action, the coaching staff gave their repetitions to players such as Earl Bennett and Joe Anderson.
That led to players lower on the depth chart receiving more repetitions too.
"What it amounted to for us was an opportunity for us to get a good look at some of the younger guys, newer guys, against some of our better players on defense. There are things we can control as coaches; we can't control when guys are in there," Trestman said. "It's part of football, and we try to turn it into a positive. (Quarterback) Jay (Cutler) had a lot of work with those guys, which is not a bad thing. We're hopeful over the next couple of days that they're all ready to go because we did not get a chance to get them on the field at the same time."
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