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Bears ‘fortunate’ on Anthony Miller injury

The second-year wide receiver is out with a sprained right ankle but is expected to return in time for the season opener.

Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17) suffered a sprained right ankle in a one-on-one drill against Kyle Fuller on Saturday.
AP Photos

BOURBONNAIS — The Bears completed training camp Sunday at Olivet Nazarene without a major injury, but wide receiver Anthony Miller’s sprained right ankle bears watching.

Miller missed practice Sunday because of the injury he suffered Saturday when he leaped for a ball in a one-on-one drill. As cautious as the Bears have been with injuries, Miller could sit for a while. But coach Matt Nagy said he didn’t think the Sept. 5 season opener against the Packers was in jeopardy.

“I don’t think so,” Nagy said. “I feel pretty good about what happened, and when you look at it . . . we got pretty fortunate.”

Elsewhere on the injury front, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (shoulder) and cornerback Kevin Toliver (undisclosed) did not practice. Tight ends Trey Burton (sports-hernia surgery) and Adam Shaheen (back) were limited.

In 17 days of training camp, the only key players to miss appreciable time because of injury were safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who missed the first four days of camp with a sprained knee he suffered in minicamp, Shaheen and Burton.

Bunting’s progress

Undrafted free-agent tight end Ian Bunting, the former Hinsdale Central star, had an interesting NFL debut against the Panthers on Thursday night. Bunting had three receptions for 77 yards, including a 45-yard catch to the Carolina 25 that set up Elliott Fry’s 43-yard field goal on the last play of the first half. Bunting also fumbled and was called for a false start and holding.

“It was fun,” Bunting said. “It’s such a blessing, such an awesome opportunity to do this in front of my family and friends and the Chicago fans. My feeling is I have a lot to work on. But I showed a couple of good things, and there’s some little things I think I can clean up.”

Braunecker’s staying power

With Burton and Shaheen out, Ben Braunecker, a 2016 undrafted free agent from Harvard who spent his first two seasons on the fringe of the roster, has become a valuable fill-in player in his fourth NFL season.

The 6-4, 252-pound Braunecker had three receptions for 42 yards and no touchdowns in 15 games last season (two starts) — and two receptions for 15 yards in the wild-card game with Burton out with an injury.

“[With] Ben’s size and stature, he’s really a ‘U’ [receiving] tight end,” Nagy said. “It’s hard for him to be a ‘Y’ [in-line tight end]. But I think he’s done a good job of doing that right now, filling in for those two guys. Ben’s done a great job, and he’s been great on special teams, as well. We’re lucky to have him.”