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Bushrod returns to practice Monday

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 5, 2013 – 5:20 pm

Sidelined for a week with a calf injury, veteran left tackle Jermon Bushrod returned to practice Monday on a limited basis, participating in individual drills.

“We understand that things happen in training camp,” said coach Marc Trestman. “We’re certainly happy that it was nothing serious. It’s offered the opportunity, as I said the last few days, to get some other guys some work and move some people around and get some more evaluation. So I think it’s been good and it’s certainly good to see him back.”

The Bears will be cautious with Bushrod as they approach Friday night’s preseason opener against the Panthers in Carolina.

“I don’t think it’s out of the realm that he would play on Friday night, but he would have to be 100 percent for us to even think about playing him,” Trestman said. “There is no need to push this. We’re going to be very patient. Doctors will tell us the condition he is on. We’ll evaluate on Thursday and Friday morning and see where we’re at.”

Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott also returned Monday, participating in individual drills after being sidelined with a knee injury, while defensive end Corey Wootton was not limited after being slowed by a sore hip.

Players sitting out included defensive end Julius Peppers (hamstring), nickel back Kelvin Hayden (hamstring), middle linebacker D.J. Williams (calf) and receiver Earl Bennett, who continues to get evaluated for a concussion. Defensive tackle Stephen Paea did not finish practice as a precaution after experiencing tightness in his hip.


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Bushrod’s injury continuing to improve

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 3, 2013 – 2:19 pm

Jermon Bushrod remains sidelined with a strained right calf, but the veteran left tackle is making steady progress and hopes to return to the practice field sooner rather than later.

“It’s coming along,” Bushrod said. “I’m out of the [protective] boot, which is a good step, a step forward. I’m taking this thing one day at a time. I’m trying to get back as soon as I can, but I don’t want to mess it up anymore. I want to be out here for my team, so the more days I can strengthen this thing back up and then get it back feeling 100 [percent], then I’ll be ready to go.”

While unable to practice, Bushrod hasn’t strayed far from his fellow offensive linemen. Having played for Bears offensive coordinator/line coach Aaron Kromer the past five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Bushrod is a valuable resource for his teammates.

“All these guys know that I come from this system, so I know a lot about it, especially coming from the offensive line standpoint,” Bushrod said. “Whenever they have a question, I’m there. Whenever I can help out, I’m there. I want to do whatever we can do so we can get these W’s.”

Bushrod would like to play in next Friday’s preseason opener against the Panthers in Carolina, but the seven-year veteran knows that there are far more important games ahead on the schedule.

“It’d be nice to get out there and put some of this hard work that we’ve been doing out there against another opponent,” Bushrod said. “But I do not want to get to the point where I’m out even longer. It’s going pretty good. There are no complaints. I’ve never had an injury like this before, so I don’t want to push it to the point where I’m out a few more weeks. I want to take it day-by-day.”


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Bears aim to build cohesiveness up front

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 28, 2013 – 4:27 pm

One of the Bears’ top priorities in training camp is building cohesiveness on an offensive line that could feature as many as three new starters this season.

“I think we’re coming together,” said left tackle Jermon Bushrod, one of the newcomers. “We’re fighting to all play together. That’s one of the things that coach is stressing day-in and day-out. We’re not out there playing as individuals. We’ve got to play together. This is a unit. We’ve got to all play as a family and have each other’s back.”

During the offseason the Bears signed Bushrod and Matt Slauson in free agency and spent their first-round draft pick on Kyle Long. Slauson has been lining up with the starting unit at left guard, while Long has been sharing first-team reps at right guard with second-year pro James Brown.

With so many new players, developing a quality offensive line won’t be an overnight process.

“You’ve got to take it one day at a time,” said Bushrod, who was voted to the last two Pro Bowls while playing for the New Orleans Saints. “That’s all you can do.

“You have your meeting times, you have your time out here to work and you have the time when you come out here and you strap it up against the defense. You’ve got to fight to take it from the classroom out here to the field. It’s easier said than done. But it’s just repetition. The more we do it, the more we talk about it, the more we can put ourselves in better situations.”

Bushrod isn’t worried about whether the line will eventually click.

“We don’t have a choice,” he said. “We want to be as good as we want to be, so we have to get it done. We have to put the extra work in. We have to get it done. We have to be technically sound as much as possible. It’s not going to be easy. It’s tough. This league, it’ll get to you mentally.

“But you’ve got to continue to be mentally strong, and I think that’s what we’re fighting to do. We have great leaders, starting from the top of our organization, trickling down. I’m excited about what we have going forward here.”


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