Jeffery, Royal making progress, could play vs. Packers

SHARE Jeffery, Royal making progress, could play vs. Packers

Jay Cutler could have a full complement of receivers — or close to it —  for the season opener after all.

Alshon Jeffery (calf) and Eddie Royal (hip) and Marquess Wilson (hamstring) officially were limited in practice Thursday. But Jeffery and Royal in particular seem like they are “on target” to play against the Pacers on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Jeffery responded well after practicing Wednesday for the first time in four weeks, coach John Fox said.

“He looks pretty functional. He looks good,” Fox said. “I think everything was on target. We’ll evaluate him and see what he’s able to do [Friday].”

Royal, who was a having a productive training camp until suffering the hip injury on Aug. 26. He was optimistic after practice Thursday.

“I’m just happy to be on the field again,” Royal said. “You miss a few days and you get anxious to get back out there.”

Long to RT?

Kyle Long’s switch from right guard to right tackle for the season opener has reached “worst-kept-secret” status.

The two time Pro Bowl guard worked mostly at tackle, with Vladimir Ducasse at guard, in the drill portion of practice open to the media. And Jay Cutler addressed the switch as if it were reality when asked why he thinks Long will succeed at tackle.

“[Because] he’s an athletic freak,” Cutler said enthusiastically. “There are going to be some growing pains just like anybody else. But he’ll be fine.”

Offensive coordinator Adam Gase wasn’t showing his hand, but indicated the Bears can handle whatever the Packers throw at them.

“I think it will be good that we have certain rules for certain protections that make it very easy on offensive linemen,” Gase said.

In the rain

Former Bears coach Marc Trestman held practice indoors and almost any sign of inclement weather. But Fox is a believer in the Bill Belichick philosophy that you practice in what you play in. So the Bears practiced in the rain Thursday.

“I think it does prepare you for these conditions,” Fox said.

Injury report

Linebacker Sam Acho (illness) and cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday. Linebacker Jon Bostic (ankle) was limited.

For the Packers, safety Morgan Burnett (calf) did not practice. Wide receiver Randall Cobb (shoulder) and linebacker Sam Barrington (ankle) were limited.

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