(CBS) Bears defensive end Jared Allen donned pads and participated in practice on a limited basis Wednesday, his most serious competition after a bout with pneumonia in which he lost 15 pounds.
Allen was 254 pounds before the illness that caused him to miss Sunday’s game against the Packers, then dropped to 239, he said. He’s now back to 241 pounds. He told reporters he’s confident that he’ll play Sunday at Carolina. His return would be a welcome sight for a defense that didn’t register a hit on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers last week.READ MORE: Chicago Police Restrict Time Off For Officers; Unclear If Order Is Related To Battle Between City Hall, FOP Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
Allen’s immediate focus is getting his strength and conditioning back.
“I’ve been having good workouts the last couple of days, just progressing, slowly going up,” Allen said. “I did the individual today and did a workout on the treadmill, felt good. I’m more concerned about recovery time with my lungs. Everything feels good right now, I’m going to go get another lift in now and so I think it’s just eating and rehydrating and getting all that weight back on and hopefully I’ll be back up by this weekend.”
Chicago coach Marc Trestman said a decision on Allen won’t be made until later this week.
“He was limited today, he got some work done,” Trestman said. “We’ll pick it up tomorrow and we’ll see how he feels going into the weekend. We’ll see where he is after practice on Friday.”
In other injury news, receiver Brandon Marshall (ankle) and safety Chris Conte (shoulder) were full participants in practice. It was the first time Marshall has practiced in full since injuring his ankle in the season opener against the Bills.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: A Quiet And Cool Fall Weekend
“Brandon got through practice, did everything,” Trestman said. “That’s a good sign. Professional football players need to practice. And some need to go limited at times because they just need to do that. And we do some of that. But it was good to have him back at full speed today.”
Defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion), guard Matt Slauson (ankle), center Robert Garza (ankle), defensive back Sherrick McManis (quad) and offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod (knee) were limited participants.
Linebacker Lance Briggs (knee), safety Ahmad Dixon (hamstring), linebacker D.J. Williams (neck) and linebacker Shea McClellin (hand) sat out.
Garza and Slauson won’t lose starting spots
Garza and Slauson haven’t been available since the season opener, forcing Brian de la Puente and Michael Ola into action. Both de la Puente and Ola have fared well in their absence, particularly de la Puente. Trestman said the two will be day-to-day in their recovery and the team will see where they are at the end of the week, but he confirmed that neither will lose their starting jobs when they’re healthy enough to play.
“Roberto is going to go back and be our starting center,” Trestman said. “Brian will continue to help our football team any way he can. But that’s the direction we’re going, there hasn’t been any other thought to the process other than that. Brian’s played very well and we’re lucky to have him. He’ll certainly be an influence on our offensive line as we move through the season. He’s done a great job for us.”MORE NEWS: Amid Critical CPS School Bus Driver Shortage, One Company Uses Halloween Event As Recruiting Tool
The Bears signed de la Puente to a one-year deal worth $730,001. That extra dollar may seem superfluous, but it’s not. By including a contract that is one dollar over the veteran minimum, they’ve protected their rights to extend him before he hits the open market.