Thursday, June 13, 2013
Bears emerge from minicamp 'injury-free'
By Michael C. Wright
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears wrapped up their three-day mandatory minicamp Thursday without defensive tackle Stephen Paea and safety Tom Zbikowski, who were both excused by the team for personal reasons.
Brandon Marshall sat out most of minicamp but coach Marc Trestman says he should be ready for training camp.
In addition, the Bears practiced without receivers Brandon Marshall (hip), Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) and Marquess Wilson (hamstring) and safety Major Wright (undisclosed). Marshall and Wright participated during the individual portions of practice, but the staff held them out when the team broke into full team work.
Bears coach Marc Trestman said all the injuries are minor and each of the players will be ready in July for training camp.
"We came out of (minicamp) pretty much injury-free," Trestman said. "(There were) a couple of nicks; nothing where guys won't be available as we start training camp."
The team held out Jeffery as a precautionary measure for the second consecutive practice after the second-year receiver suffered a minor hamstring injury last week during organized team activities. Marshall and Wilson also missed their second straight practice.
Marshall participated in the first day of minicamp, but the Bears want to proceed with caution as the receiver recovers from offseason arthroscopic hip surgery.
"There was no plan," Trestman said of the team's approach to Marshall's recovery during the minicamp. "We just kind of took it as it has come during the days. We've left it up to Brandon to assess his body and where he is. We thought it was best collectively to keep him out of practice as much as we could, and we did. He'll be back ready to go next month."
With the starting receivers and Wilson out of action, the Bears gave the first-team repetitions to Earl Bennett and Joe Anderson, along with Eric Weems when the team executed three-receiver sets.
Jeffery caught 24 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games last season, but missed a total of six weeks because of a fractured hand and arthroscopic knee surgery. Marshall, meanwhile, is coming off a team record-breaking campaign in which he hauled in 118 balls for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Paea, meanwhile, was excused because he "had a family issue, nothing serious," Trestman said. Zbikowski's excused absence for personal reasons was "nothing out of the ordinary," according to the coach, who added, "He had a very good reason to leave, and I let him go."