As expected, Bears safety Chris Conte won't be ready to start training camp with the team.
Bears general manager Phil Emery announced on Wednesday afternoon at Olivet Nazarene University that Conte will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Conte, who underwent right shoulder surgery during the offseason, is still recovering from a dislocated shoulder.
Being on the PUP list, Conte is ineligible to practice but could be moved to the active roster any anytime throughout the duration of training camp. If Conte is still on the PUP list when the Bears make their final roster cuts on Aug. 30, he won't be eligible to return to the team until Week 7 of the regular season.
Emery confirmed that the earliest Conte would be able to appear in a preseason game is Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 14 at Soldier Field.
Conte has been a target of criticism from Bears fans since his arrival to the team in 2011. His blown coverage on an Aaron Rodgers-Randall Cobb touchdown during the final minute of a Week 17 matchup against the Green Bay Packers — with playoff implications on the line — led to a season-ending defeat at the hands of their NFC North rival.
In 16 starts with the Bears in 2013, Conte registered 73 tackles, three interceptions and seven passed defended.
Conte's inconsistent play throughout his tenure with the Bears forced Emery into bolstering the secondary this offseason.
Free agents Ryan Mundy, M.D. Jennings and Adrian Wilson and fourth-round draft pick Brock Vereen are all expected to compete for a starting safety spot with the team.