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Jeremiah Ratliff back at practice for Bears

Bears DL Jeremiah Ratliff. (AP)

A Bears defense that played well against the Seattle Seahawks is about get big piece back in the eyes of coordinator Vic Fangio. Veteran lineman Jeremiah Ratliff has returned to practice.

“Well, I hope we get him back,” Fangio said Wednesday at Halas Hall. “It will be a big boost.”

Ratliff was suspended for the first three games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, but a left ankle injury that he suffered in the Bears’ third preseason game would have sidelined him all three weeks.

“The rehab has been really strong,” Ratliff said. “I had time to really focus on it and be aggressive with it, so I know just where I am. Today was a good start. And we’re just going to try to build off of that.”

Fangio said a player of Ratliff’s quality helps any cause, but he acknowledged that Ratliff will require some time to catch up. Ratliff was limited at practice.

Share Events on The Cube“You definitely lose some conditioning for two reasons,” Fangio said. “One, just the inactivity. And two, as you all know, he was nursing an ankle injury. He wouldn’t have played these first three games anyway, even if he wasn’t suspended.

“So, he’s questionable for this game. So you put those two things together, it will be a chore for him to get back into playing shape. He probably will not be able to play as many plays as we would normally like him to.”

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Email: ajahns@suntimes.com