Bears players starting to get nicked up at training camp

SHARE Bears players starting to get nicked up at training camp

The weather was tolerable, but players were filtering in and out of practice on Sunday at Olivet Nazarene University.

Several warmed up then were rested for practice, most notably defensive end Julius Peppers. Meanwhile, Brian Urlacher missed his fourth session with knee soreness.

“Held Brian Urlacher out again,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “Hopefully, we’ll get him back out here before too long. But, we’ll take our time with Brian. We know what he can do.”

Eric Weems was able to do some warming up, but he’s not ready, Smith said, and linebacker Jabara Williams has a hurt hamstring and didn’t practice. Matt Forte missed some time with a thumb injury, and Earl Bennett was nursing a calf injury.

But Dane Sanzenbacher capitalized on Bennett’s absence, catching several passes from Jay Cutler.

“Big impression,” Smith said of Sanzenbacher. “Same type he made last year, coming in as an undrafted free agent and earning a spot on the roster. He has a role, what he can do. Quick receiver in the slot. Shows up every day. He’s a good football player.”

Meanwhile, Smith said he was “surprised” when he learned that Devin Thomas was retiring.

“But, you don’t want a guy out here, if he’s not totally into football and he doesn’t have a passion to play it,” Smith said. “So, it’s not like I try to talk guys out of it, when they’ve made up their mind.”

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