Germain Ifedi sounds like he has found his comfort zone.
When the Bears signed the former Seahawks offensive lineman, the idea was that Ifedi — who was inconsistent as a starting tackle in Seattle — would benefit from a move to right guard, where he started 15 games, including two playoff games, as a Seahawks rookie in 2016.
All bets are off until the regular season begins, but Ifedi clearly has settled in at guard with the Bears, between center Cody Whitehair and right tackle Bobby Massie. The presumed position battle with 2019 starter Rashaad Coward never really happened.
“It’s fun,” Ifedi, 26, said of playing guard again. “When I’m able to just come off the ball on a three technique or a shade or whatever, it’s always fun. You kind of miss that at tackle a little bit. You kind of miss being in the middle, where you’ve got to move a guy off his spot and those types of things.
“It’s fun ball. And it really helps you impose your will on guys, and we have no better people to do it against than our defense.”
The Bears’ defensive front, particularly Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols, has challenged Ifedi to be at his best.
“They do a great job of giving me multiple looks and keeping me off balance,” Ifedi said. “Akiem has been great for me — great for my transition back to guard. Bilal is a younger guy, but he has an arsenal of pass-rush moves. Not knowing much about him, he’s a really impressive player, and he’s made me get a lot better.”
Hicks still out
Hicks (quadriceps) missed his fifth day of practice Wednesday. Coach Matt Nagy clarified that Hicks’ injury was not related to him playfully catching a punt (and then punting the ball in celebration) as part of a challenge in practice last Thursday.
“It had nothing to do with it,” Nagy said. “He’s just working through [the injury], and for us, [it’s] not a concern. It just doesn’t make sense to get him out there to do something when we don’t feel it’s the time yet.”
A-Rob ‘in a good place’
Wide receiver Allen Robinson (ankle) missed his fourth day of practice, but, again, Nagy is not alarmed.
“We’re taking it really slow with him,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘He’s in a good place.
‘‘There’s no need to rush right now. We know what A-Rob can do, and we want to make sure he’s there for Week 1.”
This and that
Safety Tashaun Gipson did not participate in practice because of a lower-back injury. “Nothing major,” Nagy said.
† Outside linebacker Robert Quinn, still “ramping up” after dealing with a personal issue before training camp, did not participate in 11-on-11 drills again.
† Inside linebacker Roquan Smith left practice early, but Nagy indicated that it was a minor cramping issue in the high-80s/low-90s heat.
† Wednesday’s practice was particularly spirited with several entertaining exchanges between defensive and offensive players.