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Punter Pat O’Donnell ready for field goals, hopes he’s not needed

Although the Bears don’t seem too concerned about kicker Robbie Gould’s sore quad, they spent Tuesday testing out a contingency plan: rookie punter Pat O’Donnell.

With Gould held out of practice, O’Donnell practiced kickoffs and field goals; he had done the former in college.

“We’re all hoping Robbie is good to go,” O’Donnell said. “He’s a tough guy, so he’ll pull through.”

O’Donnell practices placekicking about once a week in practice, in case Gould were to get hurt in a game. He said he typically attempts, and can make, 45-yard kicks.

If O’Donnell were to handle kicks, backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen would take his spot as the holder.

Still, that seemed unlikely Tuesday. Bears coach Marc Trestman said he was “hopeful” Gould would play Thursday night against the Cowboys, and the Bears would see how he felt Wednesday.

If he worsens, the team could always sign a placekicker. Trestman said that would be an “organizational issue,” but reiterated his optimism.

Ratliff: I’ll be OK

Defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff was limited in practice because of the knee injury that kept him out of Thursday’s loss, but said he should be ready to play against his former team.

“I’m working toward that,” he said. “And I think I will be.”

Ratliff spent 2005-13 with the Cowboys before a nasty departure last year. He faced his former team last year after signing with the Bears midseason.

He said he wasn’t concerned about the reunion.

“Right now the main thing is just getting healthy and getting on the field,” he said. “And that’s all.”

This and that

• Alshon Jeffery did not practice Tuesday because of a hamstring injury, one day after being limited. Trestman said he held out the wideout “for precautionary reasons.”

• Safety Chris Conte returned to practice, albeit on a limited basis, for the first time since suffering an eye injury Thursday. He will be re-evaluated Wednesday, Trestman said.

• Defensive end Cornelius Washington (chest) and returner Chris Williams (hamstring) did not practice. Linebacker Darryl Sharpton (hamstring) was limited.

Mark Potash contributed to this report.
Email: pfinley@suntimes.com
Twitter: @patrickfinley