A nagging sore left foot kept Jordan Mills out of the Bears’ four exhibition games, but the second-year right tackle suggested Monday that the injury wouldn’t have kept him out of any regular-season action.
“If I had to, I would have [played],” Mills said. “But if the trainers felt I had to sit out, I would have tried my best to get back in.
“We have a great training staff, and they’re here for my best interest, so if I had to sit out, I’d sit out. But I would have fought to get back on the field.”
Mills said he’s ready and expects to play in the Bears’ opener Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. The Bears have been very cautious with Mills, who recently wore a walking boot for several days after he underwent surgery in January for a fractured metatarsal.
“[Head trainer] Chris Hanks was behind me, giving me that look like he was going to jump on me like a jungle monkey if I step one more time,” Mills said of watching practice. “But when I had the chance to get work in and run and lift and get quality reps in, I was getting it.
“So I don’t feel I’m that far behind. You know, we have a great defense that I go against every day that makes us better. So it’s like playing a game every practice.”
Mills said the chemistry of the offensive line, which returns every starter, hasn’t been affected by his absence nor the missed time by guards Kyle Long (viral infection) and Matt Slauson (shoulder) during training camp.
“I don’t think it’s that much of a concern because we were all together for 16 games last year even though I broke my foot [in Week 17],” Mills said. “It’s like riding a bike. . . . You never forget how to ride it.”