Linebacker Roquan Smith returned to Bears’ practice on Wednesday afternoon, and confirmed that he plans to be on the field for Sunday’s game in London.
“I will play this week,” Smith told reporters huddled around his locker in Halas Hall. “Like coach said, [the absence] was a personal reason. That’s behind us now. So [I’m] just focused on getting better this week and moving on to Oakland.”
“So, today he's gonna be a full-go for practice,” Matt Nagy said. “That's definitely a good thing. Again, I'm gonna keep going back to the personal side, and that's the issue that we're at right now. We are happy that he will be full-go today. It's gonna be more of a day-to-day thing for us with him.”
Smith’s status has been a tightly-kept secret since the second-year linebacker suddenly showed up on the injury list on Sunday morning. Only a few hours before their game against the Vikings was set to kickoff, the Bears announced that he was downgraded to ‘doubtful’ for personal reasons; he would later be placed on the inactives list, but was seen on the sidelines throughout the game.
On Wednesday, Smith refused to get into much detail about the reasoning behind his absence, insisting that it was a personal matter that was now resolved. He did say, however, that he “absolutely” feels 100 percent physically and has fully participated in his usual schedule of workouts and meetings at Halas Hall this week.
Smith also refused to get into some of the conspiracy theories that have popped up in his absence.
“I guess that’s just life in general,” he said. “People are always curious, just like you guys have a job to do. You’re going to do your job to the best of your ability, I hope. And if you don’t know, you’re going to assume things just like everyone else. It’s one of those big games, but it’s behind me. I’m not really focused on it anymore.”
Smith kept in frequent communication with coaches and players during his time away, something he said was much-appreciated and helpful. Sunday will be the first time he’s ever been to London, but given his last few days, the novelty of traveling comes in a distant second to just getting back on the field.
“It’s just ball at the end of the day,” he added. “And it’s just getting back out there with my brothers. I’m looking forward to it, and it will be another great opportunity for us.”