Rookie offensive tackle Larry Borom returned to practice Wednesday after spending six weeks on injured reserve with an ankle injury. And while it’s likely that Borom will need time to get back into playing shape, Bears coach Matt Nagy did not rule Borom out for Sunday’s game against the 49ers at Soldier Field.
The fifth-round draft pick from Missouri could fill a void at right tackle with starter Germain Ifedi on injured reserve with a knee injury he suffered in Week 5 against the Raiders.
Elijah Wilkinson replaced Ifedi but is on the COVID-19/reserve list. Lachavious Simmons started at right tackle against the Buccaneers but was replaced by Alex Bars early in the second quarter after allowing two sacks.
“That’s one of the things that will be good for us to evaluate and see where he’s at, both mentally and physically,” Nagy said. “I thought Larry has done a great job when given the opportunity to play. So coach Juan [line coach Juan Castillo] and coach Donnie [assistant Donovan Raiola] will see where he’s at conditioning-wise. But he’s been working hard, so we’re gonna really push him to see where he can go.”
Borom was impressive in back-to-back practices with the first team at left tackle early in training camp — and was going to get a shot at the starting job. But he was put in concussion protocol on Aug. 6.
With second-round rookie Teven Jenkins’ back injury lingering (he eventually needed surgery), the Bears signed veteran Jason Peters on Aug. 16 to play left tackle. When Peters suffered an injury in the opener against the Rams, Borom replaced him, but himself was injured after 15 snaps.
Defensive end Akiem Hicks, who has missed two of the last three games with a groin injury, returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday.
Safety Tashaun Gipson, who did not play against the Buccaneers because of hip injury, also practiced on a limited basis.
Also limited were kick returner Jakeem Grant (ankle), tight end J.P. Holtz (quad), defensive lineman Bilal Nichols (knee) and wide receiver Allen Robinson (ankle).
Linebacker Khalil Mack was the only player on the 53-man roster who did not practice. He is not expected to play against the 49ers because of a lingering foot injury.
Former Bears left tackle Jimbo Covert will receive his Hall of Fame “Ring of Excellence” at a halftime ceremony Sunday against the 49ers. Covert was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in August.
It’ll be an exciting honor for Covert, but a bit of haunting memory for Bears fans.
The Halloween ceremony will be on the 27th anniversary of the Bears’ jersey retirement ceremony for Bears legends Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers. That ceremony was marred by a driving rainstorm — and a 33-6 loss to the Packers and Brett Favre.