Receiver Allen Robinson provided the Bears with their one significant piece of injury progress Thursday when he returned to practice on a limited basis. Robinson, who hurt his ankle against the Raiders but played against the Packers, sat out Wednesday’s practice.
Bears defenders weren’t so lucky. Defensive lineman Bilal Nichols was added to the injury report when he did not participate because of a knee injury. Safety Tashaun Gipson, who was limited with a hip injury Wednesday, didn’t practice Thursday, either.
Stars Akiem Hicks (groin) and Khalil Mack (foot) did not practice for the second straight day. Another starter, cornerback Duke Shelley, was limited with an ankle injury.
The Buccaneers are banged up, too. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who suffered multiple rib fractures Sept. 26, remains out. Receiver Antonio Brown (ankle), linebacker Lavonte David (ankle), outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder/hand) and cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring) haven’t practiced all week, either.
It’s been a bad week for Bears defensive backs on social media. On Sunday night, safety Eddie Jackson tweeted stats about Lance Briggs’ missed tackles after the Bears’ former star linebacker was critical of his effort taking down the Packers’ Davante Adams.
On Wednesday, cornerback Jaylon Johnson posted a picture of a $2,745 fine handed down by the team for, he said, being one minute late. Coach Matt Nagy was unaware he posted it until being told by the media. Later Wednesday, Johnson took the post down.
On Thursday, defensive coordinator Sean Desai said the posts weren’t cause for much concern.
“The guys know what our standard is,” he said. “They know what the policies are. And quite frankly, it doesn’t present to be too much of a distraction because it gets directly addressed. We’re still focused on what we need to be focused on. They need to be focused on what we need to be focused on, which is a great challenge in the Buccaneers, playing them on the road.”
Bears receivers coach Mike Furrey is out of coronavirus protocol after testing positive. He returned to practice Thursday after a six-day absence.
Outside linebacker Robert Quinn remains on the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive Tuesday. So does running back Damien Williams. Williams, who tested positive Oct. 14, could return as soon as Saturday — just in time to face the Buccaneers.
This and that
Returner Jakeem Grant didn’t practice for the second straight day after hurting his ankle against the Packers. Nsimba Webster, whom the Bears replaced with Grant, remains on the practice squad and could be an option Sunday.
“I just said it again [Thursday] in a meeting: Whenever you get called up, when it’s your time, we expect you to perform and go,” special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor said. “You have to always be ready.”
• Linebacker Caleb Johnson returned to practice after hurting his knee against the Raiders. He was limited, as were tight end J.P. Holtz (quad) and receiver Darnell Mooney (groin).