The Chicago Bears returned to practice Wednesday at Halas Hall to prepare for Saturday’s preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field.
Here are three things we subsequently learned from players.
1. The Bears removed linebacker Roquan Smith from the physically unable to play list.
A day after Smith requested a trade from the Bears due to stalled contract negotiations, the team announced that it had removed him from the PUP roster, where he had resided since day one of training camp.
His placement on the roster meant he would not be fined for not attending practices while awaiting a new Bears contract. Smith staged a “hold-in”, which allows him to attend meetings and train at Halas Hall without training. He had at most training to watch.
It’s unclear if the Bears fired him on a trade or overtime or if they could fine him for sitting out after he released a bold statement to NFL Network on Tuesday saying the Bears won’t. disliked and “refused to negotiate in good faith.”
The NFL collective bargaining agreement says teams can fine players $40,000 a day on their fifth-year options if they miss practices and one week’s regular-season pay for every preseason game they play. ‘they miss.
Smith’s dispute with Bears general manager Ryan Poles over a potential extension remained a topic of conversation Wednesday.
Teammates Robert Quinn and Darnell Mooney said the players would like Smith to stay in the building. But they also expressed an understanding of why Smith pressured the Bears with the statement.
“You see this all the time with players trying to put pressure on the organization just trying to get a deal done,” Mooney said. “It’s nothing I can do or anything, so I just watch from afar.”
Quinn recalled watching defensive tackle Aaron Donald hold on when the two were with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. After holding out for a second straight training camp a year later, Donald finally received a six-year, $135 million contract.
Quinn said he understands if Smith “wants to do as much as he can” and said he respectfully thinks the linebacker deserves it.
“It’s an opportunity to take care of your family and all that good stuff, so you don’t want to sell yourself short,” Quinn said. “Because not many people sign new contracts, and if you’re one of the best at your job, you want to make sure you sign a high-paying contract.
“But I’m not the general manager. I am not Roquan. I am not the owner. I have my two cents, and I’m sure no one cares anyway.
2. Even Darnell Mooney admitted his take at Family Fest on Tuesday was “crazy.”
Undrafted free agent cornerback Jaylon Jones texted Mooney after Tuesday’s practice to say he wasn’t sure what he could have done differently to defend the one-handed bouncing hold of Moony.
“I was like, ‘That was a great defense, man. Just a crazy catch,'” Mooney said.
Mooney got behind Jones and ahead of safety Eddie Jackson to grab the ball on the right sideline for a hold over 20 yards.
“It was just a fade. Justin (Fields) just got the ball in for me so I’m the only one who can play,” Mooney said. said, ‘Oh, that’s all I have, so I’ll just stick it up there.’ I watched the ball all the way, I squeezed and it was a good catch.
It’s unclear how many chances Mooney will have for big catches when he enters preseason action on Saturday.
Bears coach Matt Eberflus said the starters will play the Chiefs, but hasn’t revealed how many. Mooney said he was interested in playing to pick up the pace of a game and start to get a feel for how offensive coordinator Luke Getsy calls plays.
3. Injuries and absences continue to pile up.
Tight end Cole Kmet and running back David Montgomery were the new players to miss practice.
Eberflus did not speak to reporters on Wednesday but will speak on Thursday. Kmet missed the final part of practice Tuesday at Soldier Field before practicing next door Wednesday, while Montgomery’s absence was news.
They were two of 21 players who were missing or working on the side. The others were wide receivers N’Keal Harry, Byron Pringle, Velus Jones Jr., David Moore, and Dante Pettis; cornerbacks Kyler Gordon, Kindle Vildor, Thomas Graham Jr., Tavon Young, Duke Shelley and Greg Stroman Jr.; security Dane Cruikshank; tight ends Ryan Griffin and James O’Shaughnessy; defensive linemen Angelo Blackson and Mario Edwards Jr.; linebacker Noah Dawkins; and offensive linemen Lucas Patrick and Julien Davenport.