BOURBONNAIS — The good news on the injury front was that starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod returned to practice on Monday. He was limited to individual position drills, but it was still an encouraging sign after he missed a week of practice.
“It’s getting there,” Bushrod said. “I didn’t want to come out here and push it too hard, but I got a good feel. It feels good to get the pads on and being back out here with the guys.
“We’re going to take it one day at a time and see how it’s feeling later, and just trying to get one step closer to feeling 100 [percent]. … It’s about easing myself back in and fighting to get back into shape like I was before I got this little setback.”
Bushrod’s goal is to play in the Bears’ exhibition opener Friday against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. But coach Marc Trestman said the team will be “very patient” with the two-time Pro Bowler.
“I don’t think it’s out of the realm that he would play on Friday night but he would have to be 100 percent for us to even think about playing him,” Trestman said. “There is no need to push this. We’re going to be very patient. Doctors will tell us the condition he is in. We’ll evaluate on Thursday and Friday morning and see where we’re at.”
OTHER INJURY NEWS
Nose tackle Stephen Paea was pulled from practice because of tightness in his hip. But he’s expected to be fine and practice on Tuesday.
“He was OK,” Trestman said. “He had a little bit of hip tightness so we were just real cautious. We were on a wet field. Nothing serious. I would expect him to be back [Tuesday]. Again, on this field we just wanted to make sure he didn’t become any worse than he was. It wasn’t bad. It was just precautionary.”
Wide receiver Earl Bennett is still being evaluated after leaving practice on Saturday with concussion-like symptoms. Defensive end Julius Peppers (hamstring), defensive back Kelvin Hayden (hamstring) and linebacker D.J. Williams (calf) also sat out. Williams is back in a walking boot.
Receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee), defensive lineman Jamaal Anderson (knee) and rookie defensive end Cornelius Washington (elbow sprain) all took part in practice.