With a short week and bruised bodies, the Bears changed their practice routine on Tuesday, with a couple of extended walk-throughs in addition to meetings pointed toward preparing for the New York Giants on Thursday night.
Instead of morning meetings and midday practice in some configuration pads, coach Marc Trestman structured a day with an eye toward getting his team both healthy and mentally ready. Morning meetings were followed by a detailed walking through game plans, followed by a lunch break and meetings, and a wrap-up walk-through in jerseys, no helmets.
“Today’s a Friday for us,” Trestman said. “So tomorrow will be more in the morning work again, maybe a little bit longer with some meetings. But that’ll be it. Tomorrow’s like a Saturday. ... It’s all mental preparation.”
The change in routine was welcomed by a team coming off a painful, in more ways than one, loss to the New Orleans Saints.
“Most older guys, including myself, by Thursday you’re just starting to feel a little bit better,” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “Friday, you’re starting to get back to full speed. I think physically just being able to go out there full-speed on Thursday is a challenge.”
It will be a particular challenge for several players still hard-pressed to get through a full week of practice, let alone games.
Had the Bears practiced in full, cornerback Charles Tillman (knee, groin) would not have practiced anyway. Tillman has not practiced the past two weeks until Friday, making him questionable for Sunday games. He is expected to start against the Giants but will be a game-day decision.
Tight end Martellus Bennett (knee) and nose tackle Stephen Paea (toe) would have been limited. Safety Anthony Walters (hamstring) did not participate.