Bears plan safety rotation versus Bills

September, 3, 2014
Sep 3
5:42
PM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Chicago Bears' Week 1 plan at safety calls for a three player rotation of Ryan Mundy, Danny McCray and Chris Conte, head coach Marc Tretsman announced.

Conte is in the final stages on the NFL's concussion protocol, but he is expected to receive the requisite medical clearance to face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in the regular season opener at Soldier Field. Conte practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday.

"We're going to roll [the safeties] in [versus the Bills]," Trestman said. "If Chris is up, we will rotate the safeties. We'll rotate them between Ryan and Danny and Chris. Are we set at who we are going to start? No. But I expect all three will play, and Brock [Vereen] will get some work as well [on special teams]."

Trestman stressed the need to preserve McCray and Mundy for their roles on special teams. McCray, in particular, is a former core special teams performer for the Dallas Cowboys who recorded 74 tackles on special teams from 2010-2013. Mundy is also expected to be a key contributor to the coverage units. The safety made 64 special teams stops during stints in Pittsburgh and New York before signing a two-year deal offseason deal with the Bears.

"One of the key advantages is that we've got special teams duties for Mundy and McCray," Trestman said. "They are a big part of what we are special teams-wise. A big part of why they were brought here was not just to contribute on defense, but also to contribute on special teams. By rotating guys in we feel we can keep them fresh and create an advantage special teams-wise as well."

Conte is by far the most experienced safety of the three with 40 career starts, 230 tackles and six interceptions.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker felt Conte "played fast" until he suffered the concussion in the club's third preseason game in Seattle. Conte delivered a pair of memorable hits in the game, but spent much of the preseason on the sideline after having offseason surgery on his shoulder.

Will Conte be ready on Sunday? Mundy thinks so.

"Chris is a veteran guy who has played a ton of football," Mundy said. "He has a lot of experience and a ton of athletic ability. The great thing about this situation is that we've all been in the same meeting room and all received the same coaching points."

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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