Matt Forte remains away from Halas Hall while the Bears began their first minicamp under new coach John Fox. Nose tackle Jeremiah Ratliff was absent on Tuesday. So was tight end Martellus Bennett.
But Fox was less than unconcerned over what has been viewed, in Forte’s case at least, as a potential concern relative to contract status or other issue.
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“You know what: It's voluntary, it's a new CBA, I know where [Forte] is, I know what his thoughts are,” Fox said. “I'm not going to share them with the world.
“I prefer he'd be here, just like any player, but I understand this is the off-season, and when guys got things that they have to take care of or maybe commitments that they've made, this is the time to do it, they can't be doing it in season.
“I'm not going to get into every time we've touched base or any of those things but I know where he is. I'm familiar with where he is. I'd prefer that he be here but it's the same with everybody.”
The loss of Roquan Smith to injured reserve on Monday (torn pec) created an obvious need for the Bears at linebacker on the depth chart.
Fellow starter Danny Trevathan will likely miss Sunday's game against the Packers as he continues to rehab his elbow injury, which leaves little depth behind Nick Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre-Louis, the reserves-turned-starters in Week 15.
As a result, Chicago signed former Buccaneers linebacker Devante Bond on Monday.
Bond, 26, was selected by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft after a strong career at Oklahoma and has six starts on his resume over the last three years. He was released by the Buccaneers on October 19 after being suspended by the NFL for four weeks for violating the league's PED policy.
Bond will slide into a reserve role for the Bears.
Bears wide receiver has had his best stretch of the season recently, collecting at least 5 receptions and a touchdown in each of his last three games. But Robinson is taking the cake as perhaps the Bears MVP off the field too, as his "Within Reach Foundation" just accomplished an awesome goal in providing quite a great experience for a group of underprivileged youths.
Robinson's Within Reach Foundation hosted 25 kids from the Chicago Youth Center and gave the kids an excellent experience that started with an early Christmas shopping spree for each kid. Also as a part of the event, each child received football with Robinson's autograph on it and a $150 gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods.
"A lot of kids don't have things under the Christmas tree... being able to do this for kids is fun," stated Robinson.
The ultimate goal of Robinson's Within Reach Foundation is to positively impact at least 5,000 students by the end of 2020 through their various outreach programs.
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