Bears Healthy Ahead Of Season Opener

September 06, 2018 - 1:37 pm

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Bears coach Matt Nagy prioritized health during the preseason with this week in mind. Sure enough, the Bears are preparing for their opener against the Packers on Sunday with nearly a full complement of healthy players.

Linebackers Leonard Floyd (hand), Roquan Smith (hamstring) and Aaron Lynch (hamstring) were all full participants at practice at Halas Hall on Wednesday and are expected to do the same work Thursday. Also practicing in full with the Bears was new pass rusher Khalil Mack, whose conditioning level matched the team's hopes.

"It’s just going to be knowing where he’s at mentally with (defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's) system and then understanding where he is physically and matching the two together," Nagy said of Mack. "We’re not going to know really until we get into it and we just kind of gauge it.”

Floyd has been practicing this week with his fractured right hand wrapped in a protective club, as the Bears had planned all along. Floyd said Wednesday that he once played with a clubbed hand at Georgia and downplayed the limits it will cause to his pass-rushing abilities. Meanwhile, Smith and Lynch are finally able to practice without limits after working with precautions set by the team training staff.

The rookie Smith hasn't been a full participant in practice for the last three weeks since experiencing tightness in his hamstring. 

The return of Lynch is notable for the Bears this week given his familiarity with Fangio's defense. Despite missing the entire preseason with a hamstring injury, Lynch could still play a key role against the Packers because of his knowledge of Fangio's schemes.

"We're anxious to get him out there and get him going a little bit," Nagy said.

Tight end Daniel Brown was limited Wednesday by a shoulder injury that he suffered during the preseason finale last week. Safety DeAndre Houston-Carson (forearm/back) was held out of practice entirely.

Like the Bears, the Packers also limited key players during the preseason and have a short injury list as a result. Linebackers Oren Burks (shoulder) and James Crawford (hamstring) were both limited in practice Wednesday, while safety Josh Jones (ankle) didn't practice.

Kickoff between the Bears and Packers comes from Lambeau Field at 7:30 p.m. CT Sunday.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.