Bears notes: Is Alex Leatherwood closer to playing?

The 2021 first-round pick whom the Bears claimed at the start of the season has yet to play a snap with the team.

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The Bears claimed Alex Leatherwood at the start of the season.

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Offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, the 2021 first-round pick whom the Bears claimed at the start of the season, has yet to play a snap with the team.

That could change soon. But Thursday, offensive line coach Chris Morgan gave little indication that a starting assignment was around the corner.

Morgan said the Bears were happy with Leatherwood in practice, though, and that he was put at a disadvantage when he went to the Non-Football Injury list with mononucleosis two weeks after he was claimed.

“Whenever you get traded, you get cut, whatever that is, you kinda need a complete reset sometimes,” Morgan said. “His situation, he didn’t have a lot of time, because it’s during the season. And then, you know, he was ill a little bit. So it was kinda unique. He’s done a good job learning our vocabulary, our plays, techniques. Learning the guys next to him he’s working with.”

Earlier in the week, it seemed like Leatherwood — who has worked at both guard and tackle — had a chance to start Sunday against the Packers. Starting right tackle Riley Reiff left the Jets game with a back problem, and his backup Larry Borom followed suit with knee and ankle injuries. Neither practiced Wednesday.

Reiff, though, returned on a limited basis Thursday. Leatherwood could be on the game-day roster, though, if Borom is ruled out Friday.

Ebner passed

Darrynton Evans had played only two snaps on offense all season until Sunday, when he supplanted rookie Trestan Ebner as the Bears’ No. 2 running back.

“He took advantage of his opportunities,” running backs coach David Walker said. “He gave our team a spark.”

Evans ran nine times for 35 yards and caught a 33-yard pass against the Jets. He figures to get another chance Sunday.

“He’s an explosive athlete,” head coach Matt Eberflus said. “You saw him make that one catch. He did a real nice job of making that safety miss and taking it down there. We always tell them to do a good job of falling forward. He did a nice job with that. He did a nice job in protection as well. He knew his assignment. He played fast.”

Two weeks ago against the Falcons, Ebner had one run in which he “hesitated way too much,” Walker said. Because Evans had gained on Evans in practice, too, the Bears decided it was time for a change.

“We don’t really need to ... force [Ebner] into a situation where might be slightly not ready,” Walker said.

This and that

• Rookies Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker— the cornerback and safety who were the Bears’ top two picks this season — remain in concussion protocol. Both were hurt Nov. 20 against the Falcons and haven’t participated in team activities since.

•Chase Claypool practiced in full after being limited with a knee injury Wednesday. Fellow receiver Dante Pettis sat out with an illness.

• Packers offensive linemen David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins, who have knee injuries, were both limited after being forced to miss Wednesday’s practice.

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