BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The rules of the collective bargaining agreement worked out last year between players and the league keeps the players out of pads for the first two days of training camp. It also embargoes contact.
This is, however, the NFL, and things just sometimes happen.
Friday it was wide receiver Devin Hester going up with safety Major Wright in a battle for a deep pass. Hester landed awkwardly, was walked gingerly to the sideline and eventually returned, but not without some very anxious moments.
Im a lot like you media, coach Lovie Smith said. Hoping he gets up. Most of the time, they do. It doesnt seem like a whole lot of contact in that situation.
But youre going to a few bumps and bruises in training camp, even on non-padded days, when you fall like that. But he got up, and finished practice, so he should be good to go.
Hester has been carrying a full load so far, as the No. 1 punt returner and starting wide receiver opposite Brandon Marshall. His receiver play has taken a noticeable step up this year with the support and boost from Marshall.
Saturday nights practice will be the first permitted in full pads. It was more than apparent that the Bears are ready to have the leashes taken at least partway off.
There was a little bit of contact today, so we should be good, Smith said. Its the last day before you go in pads. Id say most camps around, there will be a little bit of contact right before you get into pads.