Tight end Adam Shaheen practiced Wednesday for the first time since hurting his right foot and ankle Aug. 18, opening up a three-week window for the Bears to activate him from injured reserve.
“I’m excited I’ll get a chance to play in the back half of the season,” Shaheen said.
After being injured in the preseason game against the Broncos, Shaheen, the Bears’ 2017 second-round pick, had a cast on his right foot for seven weeks. Once it was removed, he set about regaining mobility in his foot and ankle before he could return to practice.
“It had been locked up for seven weeks,” Shaheen said. “It hadn’t moved. It needed the time to get that back.
“Just countless hours of rehab and stretching it out . . . exercises, acupuncture, cupping just to try to get that motion back.”
Coach Matt Nagy wouldn’t rule out his participation Sunday against the Lions, but tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride said Monday that he likely wouldn’t be able to return to game action after only three days of practice.
“I don’t believe so,” Gilbride said, “but that’s not my call.”
Shaheen was present at the part of practice open to reporters. Because he’s not on the active roster, the team did not include him on the injury report.
The injury was particularly frustrating for Shaheen, who had begun to shine in the preseason. He had only 12 catches for 127 yards in 13 games as a rookie.
“I thought that he was one of those guys that was progressing pretty fast,” Nagy said. “So it’ll be exciting to get him back out there and see exactly where he’s at.”
The Bears continue to be enamored with the 6-5, 270-pounder’s potential as a red-zone option.
“Me and Adam have a great connection from last year,” quarterback Mitch Trubisky said. “[He’s] obviously a big target and runs good routes for his size and can separate. He’s just a mismatch problem across the board for linebackers and safeties, and when you get a corner on him as well, his size is just too much to handle.
“Getting him back will just open things up even more for this offense. And he’s another option for this offense to be even more dynamic.”
The Bears need a second pass-catching option at tight end. Trey Burton is third on the team with 29 catches for 371 yards, but only one other tight end has caught a ball this year. Dion Sims has two catches for nine yards and is still in concussion protocol after getting hurt Sunday.
“[Shaheen is] a huge target and can run fast with very soft, natural hands,” Gilbride said. “He’s a pass-catching tight end who can also block in line and on the perimeter.”
NOTE: The Dolphins and coach Adam Gase were fined for violating the NFL’s injury-report policy leading up to the Bears game, the league confirmed Wednesday night. The team was fined $30,000 and Gase $15,000. Miami violated league policy by listing quarterback Ryan Tannehill as a full participant on its Oct. 11 practice report. His replacement, Brock Osweiler, beat the Bears 31-28 in overtime.