The name of player personnel director Tim Ruskell continues to percolate in and around the Bears quest for a general manager and probably will right on up to the point when the Bears hire someone else. If they do.
Bears President Ted Phillips left Ruskell in play when he and Chairman George McCaskey were answering questions on the day of exits by Jerry Angelo and Mike Martz.
Im not eliminating any candidates right now, Phillips said in response to a query on the Ruskell possibility. So well just see where that goes.
Former Tribune colleague Dan Pompei noted this weekend that there is Ruskell talk at Halas Hall, and Ruskell has worked with Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay and now Chicago.
A Bears option would be to retain Ruskell as a DE factor interim GM and, based on how this year goes, make a collective decision on the personnel, coaching and multiple player situations after the 2012 season.
After expressing optimism earlier Wednesday that he wouldn't have a player begin training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, general manager Ryan Pace's first major free agent signing will be held out when practices begin Thursday morning.
For the second straight camp, linebacker Pernell McPhee will be sidelined by a knee problem that's plagued him his first two seasons with the Bears. He'll still be able to attend meetings and receive treatment in Bourbonnais and can be activated at any time.
A year ago, McPhee was coming off knee surgery and was on injured reserve the first six weeks of the season. He'd spent this off-season getting his weight down to decrease stress on the knee, but when physicals and conditioning tests were held Wednesday, the team determined to hold him out. McPhee was actually recovering from offseason labrum surgery, but their announcement only specifically mentioned the knee.
With several other players coming off injuries and being limited during OTAs and minicamp, it's not certain Wednesday night's announcement means McPhee will be the only player starting camp on PUP. Among others, Kyle Long, Zach Miller, Eddie Jackson, and Jeremy Langford were easing their way back from surgeries. Josh Sitton was another, and John Fox revealed Wednesday Sitton won't join the team until Saturday after his wife gave birth.
With McPhee sidelined, two other outside linebackers coming off surgery, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston would be set for more practice time at the position, along with Leonard Floyd, Dan Skuta and Sam Acho.
Thursday's opening practice is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. at Olivet Nazarene and will not include pads.
The CSN Fantasy crew is taking its talents on the road.
CSNChicago fantasy analysts Slavko Bekovic and Scott Krinch will join a Chicago Tribune panel of fantasy football experts for a Draft Party at Soldier Field on Thursday, Aug. 24.
It's the ultimate event to kick off the 2017 fantasy football season.
Sponsored by Jewel-Osco, fans will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host their fantasy drafts at Soldier Field, complete with insight and analysis from a panel of experts that includes Bekovic, Krinch, Rich Campbell and Phil Thompson from the Chicago Tribune, Bears broadcaster Jeff Joniak and The Score's Hub Arkush. Derek VanRiper and Kevin O'Brien from RotoWire will also be on hand to provide analysis.
The general admission tickets for fans include access to the Soldier Field press box. VIP tickets will give fans access to the private suites around Soldier Field for their drafts. All fans will receive complimentary food and beverages plus photo opportunities on the field and giveaways.
Head to ChicagoTribune.com/draftparty and follow @ChicagoSports and @CSNFantasy for more information.
The CSN Fantasy crew provides analysis all season long, from weekly podcasts and video segments to written articles that include a focus on the waiver wire as well as start/sit for each week.