Bears rookie OLB Leonard Floyd returns to practice

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Leonard Floyd was carted off the field against the Giants. (AP)

Bears outside linebacker Leonard Floyd practiced for the first time Wednesday since his scary helmet-first collision against the Giants on Nov. 20.

Floyd remains in concussion protocol, but it still was a positive first step for the first-round pick. He was officially listed as limited in practice.

Coach John Fox didn’t offer details on Floyd’s current condition, only saying that he was cleared to exercise.

Still, it was encouraging that Floyd, who has five sacks in nine games this season, was back on the field. He didn’t practice at all last week and sat out the Bears’ 27-21 loss to the Titans.

Floyd was briefly hospitalized after he went head-first into the side of defensive end Akiem Hicks when trying to tackle Giants running back Rashad Jennings.

“Obviously, we’re very relieved that it wasn’t anything more serious,” Fox said. “All of it’s serious, but it could have been more serious.”

In the middle

For the second consecutive week, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has to replace one of his starting inside linebackers.

Danny Trevathan was put on injured reserve Tuesday after tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee against the Titans.

Jerrell Freeman still has three games remaining on his suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Rookie Nick Kwiatkoski and John Timu will start at inside linebacker.

“It’s an opportunity now for one of those other inside backers to come up and play good for us,” Fangio said. “But yeah, [Trevathan is] a tough loss. He’s an athlete, and you’re playing an athletic guy [49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick], so the more athletes you can have the better chance you have.”

Injury report

Quarterback Jay Cutler was one three players who did not practice, meaning Matt Barkley is preparing to start Sunday against the 49ers.

Cutler hasn’t practiced since injuring his throwing shoulder against the Giants.

Receiver Eddie Royal (toe) and safety Adrian Amos (foot) also sat out practice.

Left guard Josh Sitton (ankle) did return to practice, although he was limited. He did not play against the Titans.

Cornerbacks Deiondre’ Hall (ankle) and Tracy Porter (ankle) and defensive tackle Mitch Unrein (back) also were limited.

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