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Bears receiver Anthony Miller returns to practice with eye on Week 1

Miller wasn’t concerned about playing catch-up after missing two weeks. ‘‘I think everything’s going to click,’’ he said.

Chicago Bears v Indianapolis Colts
Bears second-year wide receiver Anthony Miller (on the sidelines before the preseason game against the Colts on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium) doesn’t think he’ll have any problems catching up with Mitch Trubisky and the offense after missing two weeks of practice because of an ankle injury he suffered Aug. 10 at training camp.
Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Minutes after leaving the practice field with what looked to be a potentially serious ankle injury Aug. 10 at Olivet Nazarene, Bears receiver Anthony Miller assured fans via Twitter it was nothing to worry about.

‘‘I’m good,’’ Miller tweeted, adding a thumbs-up emoji.

As it turns out, he was right. Miller returned to practice on a limited basis Monday and is confident he will be 100 percent healthy for the Bears’ regular-season opener Sept. 5 against the Packers at Soldier Field.

‘‘I knew I was all right when I got up and started walking on it,’’ Miller said after practice Monday at Halas Hall. ‘‘Usually, if you mess it up that bad, then you can’t put any pressure it, and I was able to walk off just fine by myself. So I knew it was going to be all right.’’

Miller said he felt good and played without pain Monday. That still leaves two questions he will have to wait until the season begins to answer: 1) How far behind is he after missing two weeks of practice, especially after missing the entire offseason program while recovering from shoulder surgery? 2) Can he stay healthy through a 16-game NFL season?

‘‘I know everything’s going to click because we work so hard just to make things right and go over things during meetings, so it’s not just on the field,’’ Miller said. ‘‘Our chemistry, I think, is going to be on-point this year.’’

With the Bears seemingly deep at receiver, Miller’s absence hasn’t been lamented daily. But he’s expected to be a key cog in the presumed next step for the Bears’ offense after an impressive, if abbreviated, rookie season in which he caught 33 passes for 423 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.

The Bears are looking for Miller to mature as a player as well as a receiver in his second season. They hope he’ll follow the lead of veterans Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel in dedicating himself to mastering the small details it takes to be successful in the NFL.

‘‘We’re not worried about his confidence; he’s had that since he got here,’’ receivers coach Mike Furrey said. ‘‘The biggest thing I’ve noticed is he’s slowed stuff down. He’s heard plays before. He’s not a jackrabbit, running all over the place. He’s becoming more consistent, which is what we challenged him to do.’’

Coach Matt Nagy emphasized the importance of Miller learning the offense after missing practice because of the ankle injury.

‘‘Nothing has changed with him,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘When he’s on the field, he’s a playmaker; he’s a weapon for us. But having him out the last several weeks, we’ve got to make sure he stays inside that playbook and understands the details of the offense. That’s our focus — making sure he does that. Once you do that in the game, then your volume of plays starts to go up a little bit.’’

That’s fine by Miller.

‘‘What he means by that is studying the playbook, making sure I know where I’m supposed to be at all times,’’ Miller said.

‘‘I’ve been doing it. I haven’t had much trouble with any of the plays, especially since I was here last year and pretty much know the system. So everything they throw at me, I’m taking it pretty well.’’

Miller said he is plenty motivated to become a part of something great.

‘‘I feel like we’ve got a lot to prove,’’ Miller said. ‘‘This is just me speaking as an offensive player: I think the ‘D’ carried us tremendously last year. We need to step it up and play our part. We have all the tools at each position; we’re loaded. I just think we’ve got to step it up this year.’’