BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Martellus Bennett went through his first practice since his suspension by the organization, a non-event (he’d been through the team walk-through earlier on Sunday). But the suspension arose out of Bennett throwing rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller to the ground after a play, and while his teammates like the playmaking and fire, they also don’t want to see the kind of behavior that precipitated the suspension.
“Out here, definitely first thing is just be mindful of your teammate,” said cornerback Tim Jennings. “Everybody. We’re trying to make it through healthy through camp, everybody full speed, be ready to go. I think that’s one thing [coach Marc Trestman] was trying to get through to Martellus. Protect your teammate.
“Even though we’re out here battling and tension’s going to flare. But learn how to control that. Because in the heat of the moment in a game we don’t need no foolish penalties. So I think he gets the point.”
Sunday’s practice was not in full pads so contact was less than what it was last Monday when Bennett detonated. In the meantime the Bears defeated the Philadelphia Eagles and went about their business.
“I think as a team, we did a great job of handling it,” said tackle Jermon Bushrod. “He's back now and that's all that matters and there's really nothing else to harp on. We're just glad to have him back.”
Trestman was in touch with Bennett throughout the week and Bennett was only allowed back when the organization was satisfied that he grasped the situation. Bennett said after the incident that he didn’t see that he’d done anything warranting a fine (he was), certainly not a suspension.
The return was repeatedly described as a “process.”
“Just going into it we had a process, a protocol of what we wanted to do and he did it,” Trestman said. “He did everything we wanted to do in a very positive and professional manner and that’s why he’s back. He deserves to be back.”