Brandon Marshall returns to OTAs

Updated: June 4, 2013, 6:15 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall returned to the practice field Tuesday for organized team activities after missing the majority of the offseason recovering from arthroscopic hip surgery.

Marshall posted Tuesday on Twitter that doctors gave him clearance to return, and the receiver said he feels as if "I'm 100 percent now. I'm ready to go."

MarshallIt's just a scope. I'm excited that's all it is. But I have to be smart, continue just to rehab throughout the season and throughout the rest of my career.

-- Brandon Marshall on hip surgery

Marshall underwent surgery in January and started running routes for the first time in late April. Having undergone multiple hip surgeries in recent years, Marshall admitted to being concerned about his hip becoming a long-term issue.

Marshall's hip injury has affected him each of the past two years.

"It's one of those things where probably when I'm done it's going to be one of those things where I'm going to have to stay on it," Marshall said. "But it's just a scope. I'm excited that's all it is. But I have to be smart, continue just to rehab throughout the season and throughout the rest of my career. I'm just thankful that we caught it, and it's in a place where it's a non-weight bearing part of the bone, and that's good."

Initially, Marshall attributed the pain he was feeling in the hip to issues with strength and flexibility.

"But when we went in there, they saw a little something and cleaned it up," Marshall said. "It was one of those things where after a lot of pounding it tightened up on me, got a little weak. So now I'm just thankful that we caught it in time and cleaned it out."

Marshall participated during the individual periods of practice Tuesday, but the staff held him out of full team work. Marshall expects to gradually add to his workload as the offseason progresses, and expects to participate next week during the team's mandatory minicamp in somewhat of a limited role.

"Yes, I'll be doing more," Marshall said. "But will I do every play? I don't think so. It's just being smart. Today, I only took a few plays in just a few periods. Next week, I'll probably be in every single period, but not as many plays as I would usually be in. But come [training] camp, I'm going to be out there flying around."

Marshall said he hasn't lost any mobility or speed, and feels he can do everything he could do before undergoing surgery in January. Marshall experienced "just a little soreness" before the Bears took a week off prior to returning to work on Monday. Marshall said the time away contributed to the healing process.

Marshall certainly appeared to be back to form during workouts. He displayed burst running routes, caught virtually everything thrown his way and, most importantly, showed no residual effects from the offseason surgery.

"It was good to see Brandon back out there," Bears general manager Phil Emery said. "He's got full medical clearance. Obviously, he was catching the ball very well. He looked good with his feet and his routes. As we build toward vet minicamp next week, it'll be exciting to see him get more reps as he goes. Obviously, we're going to work him into the situation."

Voted to his fourth Pro Bowl in 2012, Marshall caught a Bears single-season record 118 passes for 1,508 yards.

Marshall thinks he can be even more productive in 2013, and said he's "excited to see what I can do fully healthy." At the same time, Marshall also knows it's unlikely he can experience overall team success in 2013 with the same type of ball distribution the Bears utilized in 2012.

Last season the Bears targeted Marshall 188 times.

"I don't know. We've got [tight end] Marty [Bennett], a running game; I really like [the new offense under coach Marc Trestman]," Marshall said. "So I'm sure Matt [Forte] is going to be the center of our offense. I may have the same amount of targets, I may not. But my only goal is to win. I'd be lying if I said I don't want to be productive, that I don't want to be up there with the best. But at the end of the day, if we don't win, none of us will be here. The only thing I'm excited about is playing my part."

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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