Chicago Bears: Jordan Mills

Observed and heard in the locker room after the Chicago Bears' 21-13 victory over Tampa Bay:

Although the Bears constantly harp about forcing turnovers, several players in the locker room said they expected to gobble up more takeaways as the weather worsened.

As the game progressed Sunday, the rain began to fall harder and the Bears forced three turnovers in the third quarter alone -- four for the game.

Fuller's status uncertain: Rookie Kyle Fuller left Sunday's game with a knee injury, but the extent wasn't immediately known. Fuller dressed at his locker with no wraps or bandages on either knee and appeared to be walking just fine.

Kromer stays late: Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer stayed in the locker room and met for several minutes with tight end Martellus Bennett before going over to offensive linemen Jordan Mills and Kyle Long. Bennett appeared to be discussing better ways to get open for Jay Cutler.

Marquess Wilson activated, Jordan Mills doubtful

November, 14, 2014
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson has been removed from short-term injured reserve and placed on the active 53-man roster, the team announced on Friday.

 Wilson is expected to make his season debut versus the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

“We saw [the potential] from Wilson in the spring [offseason program], Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “He was ascending. He was learning the offense. He was involved in making plays for us out there. We were excited about it. [Wilson] being up now [on the active roster] gives us optimism that he’ll be able to help us.”

Wilson caught only two passes in 10 games last year as a rookie seventh-round pick.

In other injury news, the Bears listed Jordan Mills (ribs) as doubtful, and wideout Josh Morgan (shoulder) as questionable to face Minnesota after both players failed to practice the entire week.

Veteran Brian de la Puente spent the week at left guard and is likely to start, with Michael Ola sliding outside to right tackle.

Defensive end Trevor Scott (knee), guard Eben Britton (illness) and linebacker Darryl Sharpton (hamstring) have already been ruled out.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (ankle), tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs), cornerback Tim Jennings (knee), defensive end Cornelius Washington (illness) and cornerback Terrance Mitchell (illness) appear as probable on the final injury report.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall (ankle) and tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs) returned to practice Thursday at Halas Hall and participated in a limited capacity.

It’s expected both will be available for Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings

In other injury news, linebacker Darryl Sharpton (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis, while the club held out guard Eben Britton (illness), right tackle Jordan Mills (ribs), cornerback Terrance Mitchell (illness), receiver Josh Morgan (shoulder) and defensive end Trevor Scott (knee).

Cornerback Tim Jennings (knee) returned to practice on Thursday along with defensive end Cornelius Washington (illness).

Mills has missed two consecutive days of practice, and there’s a chance his availability for Sunday’s matchup could be in jeopardy. If Mills is forced to miss time, the Bears would likely play Michael Ola at right tackle.

“It’s day to day,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said of Mills. “ It’s muscular around the rib. That’s really where he’s at, day to day.”

Brandon Marshall rests injured ankle

November, 12, 2014
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Chicago Bears rested seven players on Wednesday, including wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of Week 10’s defeat in Green Bay.

Marshall told ESPN 1000’s “Waddle and Silvy” Show on Monday that he expects to play this weekend versus the Minnesota Vikings.

The five-time Pro Bowler has battled ankle problems for much of the year.

Tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs), guard Eben Britton (illness), offensive tackle Jordan Mills (ribs), wide receiver Josh Morgan (shoulder), cornerback Tim Jennings (knee), and defensive end Cornelius Washington (illness) also missed Wednesday’s session held inside the Walter Payton Center.

Bears coach Marc Trestman listed Mills and second-year wide receiver Marquess Wilson as “day to day.”

Wilson practiced on Wednesday and is a candidate to be elevated off short-term injured reserve in Week 11, after the club released veteran wideout Santonio Holmes on Tuesday.

Meantime, linebacker Darryl Sharpton practiced on a limited basis due to a hamstring injury. Sharpton was inactive last week against the Packers.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman finally decided Friday where to play offensive linemen Jordan Mills and Michael Ola heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

After tinkering with the offensive line by moving Mills from his customary right tackle spot to left guard, as a potential replacement for Matt Slauson who is out for the season, Trestman decided to leave Mills at right tackle. Mills sat out of the club’s last outing against the New England Patriots, and Ola filled in at the right tackle spot.

Earlier in the week, it was believed the Bears would go with Mills inside at guard and Ola at right tackle.

“We’re going to go with Jordan at tackle and Mike inside,” Trestman said. “We think that’s in the best interest of the team right now. Michael’s moved around. Jordan’s been at that position a long time. He’s healthy and ready to go. So that’s the way we’ll go.”

Mills started all 16 games at right tackle last season and seven games this year at the position. Ola, meanwhile, has split his six starts between left tackle, left guard and right tackle this season.

With Eben Britton (appendectomy) out for Sunday’s game, Trestman said the Bears will utilize rookie Charles Leno Jr. when the club operates out of its package which features an extra offensive lineman. Leno has been inactive in all but one of the club’s games this season, but Trestman said he’ll be on the active game day roster against the Packers.

“I think Charles Leno will be in the position to handle that,” Trestman said. “We’ll move him into that position. So that shouldn’t take away some of the things we’re doing in that regard
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Two days after practicing with the first team at left guard, second-year lineman Jordan Mills moved back to his customary right tackle spot for Wednesday’s practice as the Chicago Bears continued to prepare for Sunday’s matchup at Green Bay.

Bears coach Marc Trestman indicated the team has tinkered with the offensive line to find the best group, but expects to staff to settle in soon on where the starting five will play.

“[Mills] went back to the right side today, and we’ll continue to move him around,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “We’re going to give him work at both spots, and we’re going to re-assess practice, and we’ll see how we move tomorrow.”

Normally the starter at right tackle, Mills was expected to fill in at left guard to replace Matt Slauson, who suffered a season-ending torn right pectoral muscle in the Bears' Oct. 26 loss at New England.

Mills missed the loss to the Patriots with left foot soreness he’s still experiencing after undergoing surgery during the offseason. With Mills out of action against the Patriots, Michael Ola took over at right tackle. But during the workout on Wednesday, Ola moved into Slauson’s spot at left guard and Mills returned to his normal position.

Mills started all 16 games at right tackle last season and seven games this year.

“We just want to be ready,” Trestman said when asked about the moves along the offensive line. “We have Brian [de la Puente] working in at guard as well. Jordan’s going to work at tackle for the most part, but he’ll be also at guard. We’ll move Mike around, but we’re getting settle in here. I think that we’ll be a little more deliberate as we work into tomorrow.”
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears reshuffled the offensive line during the bye week, and hit Halas Hall Monday to prepare for Sunday’s road game against the Green Bay Packers with second-year veteran Jordan Mills manning the left guard spot.

Normally the starter at right tackle, Mills will fill in at left guard to replace Matt Slauson, who suffered a season-ending torn right pectoral muscle in the club’s Oct. 26 loss at New England.

“Now, instead of making tackle calls, I’m making guard calls and I’ve just get that all down pat, which I have,” Mills said. “Throughout the bye week I have been studying and have been in contact with Slau[son] and everybody else, and they’ve been all ears, giving me pointers here and there. So it’s the same communication, just different calls.”

Mills missed the club’s loss to the Patriots due to left foot soreness he’s still experiencing after undergoing surgery during the offseason. With Mills out of action against the Patriots, Michael Ola took over at right tackle and the club plans to keep the latter in that position.

Mills started all 16 games at right tackle last season and seven games this year at the position, and said the injured foot “is feeling great” after missing one contest and spending another week recovering. Mills admitted to the foot injury being “frustrating” because it has caused him to struggle for the majority of the season.

Starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod said that in Millls’ transition from tackle to guard, it’s going to be “important to get in there and feel out the way of how guards are supposed to perform,” and admitted “it’s not going to be an easy transition.”

Still, Bears coach Marc Trestman believes Mills possesses the physical skill set to excel at the guard position.

“He has all the skill set to be able to do that. He’s big, strong. He’s got long arms. He’s quick. A player playing at the tackle position is generally as athletic a player as you have in the offensive line, so to move him inside and still have that skill set -- he’s got all the tools necessary to play the position, certainly,” Trestman said. “We’re going to take a good look at it.”

Trestman’s reluctance to move Ola from right tackle to Slauson’s guard position stems from the former “starting to get comfortable in that position,” according to the coach. Trestman stressed the Bears “haven’t locked in anything” regarding Mills' move to left guard. Veteran Eben Britton appears to be the only other viable option at left guard, but he recently underwent an appendectomy and is considered week to week.

“It’s different,” Mills said. “Instead of having a 260- [or] 270-[pound] 4.5 or 4.6 guy coming off the edge wide, you have a 300-pound plus dude in 3-technique that’s right there in your face. So that’s what I’ve got to get used to. If my team needs to play a position, I’m going to do it.”
The Chicago Bears discussed potential replacements Monday at left guard for Matt Slauson, who suffered a season-ending torn right pectoral muscle in the team’s loss to New Engalnd, which means the club’s starting offensive line could be reshuffled when it reconvenes next week at Halas Hall for practice.

"We’ve got a number of guys we can move into that position," Bears coach Marc Trestman said.

Depending on the moves made, the offensive line could look drastically different than the groups the team utilized over the first eight games of the season. The most interesting possibility involves moving starting right tackle Jordan Mills inside at Slauson’s left guard spot.

If that move took place, it would likely mean Michael Ola would stay at Mills’ starting position at right tackle. Ola filled in for Mills during Chicago’s loss at Green Bay as the latter continues to struggle to recover from an offseason foot surgery.

"We can go with Jordan moving into that [left guard] position. We could go with [veteran] Eben [Britton] moving into that position. We’ve got some young guys we’re developing. We’ll see how that goes along the way. But that will be the starting point," Trestman said.

Offensive tackle is Mills' and Britton's natural position. But the club’s decision to consider Mills for Slauson’s spot isn’t an indictment on the second-year veteran’s performance through the first half of the season. Although it’s also no secret Mills struggled in his past two outings prior to missing Sunday’s game at New England.

Trestman said Mills’ potential move is about versatility.

"I think he could fit into any position, I really do," Trestman said. "We’ve had some discussions about it to see what is going to be best for our line with Matt moving out, and we’ll continue to do that. I’m leaving that open-ended. We’ll see where that goes."
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A lingering foot injury kept starting right tackle Jordan Mills off the practice field Friday -- forcing the Chicago Bears to list Mills as questionable to face the New England Patriots on Sunday.

 Mills went backwards on the injury report the entire week; downgraded to limited participation in practice on Thursday (Mills had full participation on Wednesday) before sitting out Friday's session altogether.

“It’s a problem [Mills’ foot injury] right now and we’ll have to see how it is over the course of the next couple of days,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “We’ll have to see where Jordan is. If he can’t go, then Michael [Ola] will be in his place [at right tackle].

Ola started three games at left guard and two games at left tackle earlier in the season when Matt Slauson and Jermon Bushrod were injured.

Meantime, linebackers Jon Bostic (back) and Lance Briggs (ribs) are both listed as doubtful for Week 8. Trestman said Briggs is still dealing with soreness but is making progress towards an eventual return.

In more encouraging news, rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller is probable for Sunday after suffering a broken right hand and right hip pointer injury last weekend in the loss to the Miami Dolphins. Fuller has worn a protective brace on his hand the past two days at practice, but it’s unknown if he plans to wear anything on his hand versus New England, according to Trestman.

Safety Chris Conte (shoulder), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (non-injury related) and tight end Martellus Bennett are also probable.

Safety Danny McCray has been ruled with a knee injury.

Bears CB Kyle Fuller limited at practice

October, 23, 2014
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller (hand, hip) returned to practice on Thursday wearing a protective brace on his fractured right hand.

The official injury report listed Fuller as having limited participation.

“I talked to him after practice. He said it went well,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said.

“Our decision with Kyle is day-to-day in terms of how he’s working. He practiced today to the full extent of practice. We’ll see how that is tomorrow and we’ll continue to evaluate it daily. We certainly want him to feel comfortable playing and not to have the concerns that he can hurt himself more with what he has. We certainly wouldn’t put him out there if we thought that was the case.”

Linebackers Lance Briggs (ribs) and Jon Bostic (back), tight end Martellus Bennett (hamstring) and right tackle Jordan Mills (foot) were also limited.

Three players were held out of practice: defensive end Jared Allen (rest), safety Danny McCray (knee) and KR/WR Chris Williams (illness).

Safety Chris Conte (shoulder) practiced without restrictions for the second consecutive day and is expected to be available Sunday when the Bears travel to New England. Conte was inactive in Week 7 after failing to finish four of the Bears' first six regular-season games.

Stock Watch: Ratliff explodes vs. Dolphins

October, 21, 2014
Jeremiah RatliffMike DiNovo/USA TODAY SportsDT Jeremiah Ratliff, who missed three consecutive games due to a concussion, played his best game in a Bears uniform Sunday against the Dolphins.


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1. Jeremiah Ratliff, DT: Ratliff played the best game of his brief Bears career with 3.5 sacks in the 27-14 home defeat to Miami. On two separate instances, a Ratliff sack of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill on third down prevented Miami from putting points on the board. It had been a slow start to the season for Ratliff, who missed three consecutive games due to a concussion, but he played like a man on a mission Sunday. A 10-year NFL veteran, Ratliff had 3.5 sacks combined over the previous three years before Week 7’s explosion.

2. Pat O'Donnell, P: The rookie punter is in a groove after averaging 53 yards per punt on three attempts with a net average of 45.7. That is the highest gross average by a Bears punter with a minimum of three punts in a game since Todd Sauerbrun in 1997. O’Donnell needed a couple of weeks in training camp to iron out the kinks, but the sixth-round pick has been outstanding since early in the regular season. O’Donnell looks to have serious staying power. He is likely to be punting footballs for the Bears for many years to come.

3. Coverage teams: Miami rookie sensation Jarvis Landry managed to return just two kickoffs for 55 yards and two punts for 22 yards. Landry’s dynamic ability on kickoff returns worried the Bears leading up to Sunday, but the coverage teams and kicker Robbie Gould answered the challenge. Covering kicks is a collective effort between the coverage men and the kicker. Gould forces return men to move around in the end zone before catching the football -- an exercise that can disrupt a return man’s rhythm.


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1. Jay Cutler, QB: Cutler completed 21 of 34 pass attempts for 190 yards, one touchdown, one interception and one lost fumble for a quarterback rating of 74.4. Cutler has turned the ball over 10 times (seven interceptions, three lost fumbles) in seven games. The quarterback has played 74 regular-season games for the Bears since 2009. In the 74 games, Cutler has thrown 82 interceptions and lost 20 fumbles. Add it up: 102 turnovers. Many of those 74 games have featured multiple turnovers. How do you expect to sustain success in the NFL if the offense keeps giving the football away? The answer is simple: You can’t.

2. Jordan Mills, OT: Mills had another rough performance Sunday. He struggled in trying to block talented Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, a difficult matchup for any right tackle. But is Mills healthy? Keep in mind Mills skipped practice this past Wednesday due to a foot injury -- the same foot that required offseason surgery. Bears coach Marc Trestman hinted that Michael Ola could push Mills for playing time in New England. Maybe it’s not a bad idea. Mills might benefit from a week off followed by the bye.

3. Rest of the offense: This is not the kind of offensive output Bears fans envisioned. Fans expected to see growth and improvement in the second year of the offense. After all, the Bears returned all 16 starters from a group that finished second in the NFL in points per game in 2013. Instead, the Bears offense is the main culprit behind the rocky seven-game stretch to open the season. On all levels, the Bears are failing. For whatever reason, the Bears aren’t stringing together wins (with the exception of back-to-back victories over San Francisco and the New York Jets). The offense is wildly inconsistent; it’s always something with the offense. Actually, it’s always something with this team. Rarely do the three phases come together in harmony. The Bears have nine games -- minimum -- to figure it out. The Bears have missed the playoffs six of the past seven years. It would be seven of the past eight years if they fail to reach the postseason in 2014 (a very real possibility). Time for the offense to step up and save the day.

Bears OL reunited at practice

October, 16, 2014
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Injuries forced the Chicago Bears to use four different offensive line combinations through six games, but all five starters were together on the practice field Thursday in preparation to play the Miami Dolphins.

Left tackle Jermon Bushrod (ankle/knee) is likely to return to action on Sunday after being upgraded to full participation in practice, while right tackle Jordan Mills (right) did limited work following a rest day on Wednesday.

“Today was like the first time we’ve all practiced together since Week 1,” Mills said. “I wasn’t there in OTAs (foot surgery) and parts of camp. Then it was Kyle Long when he had his illness. Then unfortunately Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson got hurt in the same game (Buffalo) with the same injury. Then Bushrod [suffered his injury at practice before Carolina game]. But all these dudes [we have as reserves] played so well it was like nobody ever left.”

Linebacker Lance Briggs (ribs) and safety Chris Conte (shoulder) were the only ones to sit out Thursday’s indoor session, but head coach Marc Trestman refused to officially rule out either player, yet.

Trestman said the Bears have rotated safeties Ryan Mundy, Brock Vereen and Danny McCray this week at practice, but Mundy and Vereen lined up together in Atlanta after Conte left the game, the fourth game he’s been unable to finish in 2014. Conte did cardiovascular work on Thursday.

Linebackers Jon Bostic (back) and D.J. Williams (neck), and safety Ahmad Dixon (hamstring) had limited participation.

Cornerback Sherrick McManis (quadriceps/knee) and linebacker Shea McClellin (hand) practiced without restrictions and are expected to be available to face Miami.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Second-year right tackle Jordan Mills missed the entire preseason as the Chicago Bears took a conservative approach to his rehabilitation from offseason foot surgery, but the expectation is he’ll be ready to play Sunday when the club hosts the Buffalo Bills in the season opener.

Mills participated in practice at Halas Hall on Monday, and later compared his absence to riding a bike, saying, “You never forget how to ride it.”

“I had to knock a little rust off, and once I got in, it’s like I never left,” Mills said.

Mills missed two weeks of work due to soreness in his left foot before returning to practice on Aug. 20. But he was held out of all the club’s preseason outings. Mills underwent surgery back in January to repair a fractured metatarsal in his left foot, and the team has since brought the tackle along slowly.

As a rookie last season, Mills started in all 16 games but left the season finale against the Green Bay Packers after the first series due to the foot injury. Throughout the preseason, Mills continues to express optimism about his availability for the Sept. 7 opener, and on Monday nothing had changed.

With the team taking such a cautious approach in bringing him back, Mills hinted on Monday that he wouldn’t have missed so much time had the preseason been the regular season.

Asked how ready he is to start the regular season, Mills said, "I'm very ready."

“If I had to [play], I would have,” Mills said. “But if the trainers felt [I] needed to sit out, I would’ve tried my best to get back in. But we have a great training staff, and they’re here for my best interests. So if I had to sit out, I’d sit out. But I would’ve fought every chance I got to get back on the field.”

Given all the time Mills has missed, it’s natural to question whether Chicago’s offensive line will hit the field against the Bills as a cohesive group. Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said last week that Mills’ absence along with others along the offensive line gave the staff extra opportunities to evaluate potential backups.

“The positive of that is it has given us an opportunity to give reps to other players, and it has opened the door for them,” Kromer said.

Bears rest starters in preseason finale

August, 28, 2014
CLEVELAND -- The Chicago Bears are taking a conservative approach to the preseason finale.

With the regular season opener 10 days away, the Bears appear to be resting all of their starters and several key reserves in the fourth preseason games against the Cleveland Browns.

The Bears made no official announcement except that rookie David Fales will start at quarterback in place of Jay Cutler, but nearly every member of the first-team offense and defense participated in pregame warm-ups without pads or helmets.

That list of players included: linebackers Jon Bostic and Shea McClellin, and right tackle Jordan Mills, who missed the first three preseason games with a foot injury.

Even certain backups seem to be getting the night off.

Wide receiver Josh Morgan, running back Ka'Deem Carey, wide receiver Micheal Spurlock, defensive end Trevor Scott and defensive tackle Ego Ferguson wore baseball caps instead of helmets while teammates went through pregame drills.

Safety Chris Conte (concussion) made the trip to Cleveland, but is not expected to play.

However, veteran guard Eben Britton is scheduled to make his preseason debut.

The Bears must reduce their roster from 75 to 53 by Saturday afternoon.

Mills, Britton to make preseason debuts?

August, 26, 2014
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears held five players out of their final full practice before Thursday’s preseason finale in Cleveland: safety Ryan Mundy, offensive lineman Brian de la Puente, wide receiver Marquess Wilson, fullback Tony Fiammetta and safety Chris Conte.

Cornerback Isaiah Frey also missed the workout due to a sore hamstring, but Frey and guard James Brown were later waived to trim the Bears’ active roster down to 75 active players before the 3 p.m. CT deadline.

Generally speaking, the first-team plays very little, if at all, in the fourth preseason game.

However, an argument can be made that certain veterans would benefit from some playing time versus the Browns. Among that group is Jordan Mills. A foot injury forced the starting right tackle to miss the first three preseason games. Mills did return to practice on a full-go basis on Monday and probably would relish the opportunity to knock off some of the rust before the regular-season opener against Buffalo.

“That’s a good question,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said regarding Mills’ availability. “He did practice today. I haven’t talked to the trainers about that situation. We really haven’t made any decisions on those types of situations. We’re still working on who is going to play and who is not. But Jordan did practice today, which was a good thing.”

Veteran offensive lineman Eben Britton also practiced on Tuesday and should make his preseason debut in Cleveland, although his roster spot is far from assured. Britton's hamstring injury early in camp opened the door for Michael Ola and Dennis Roland to impress the coaching staff and potentially earn a spot on the final 53-man roster.