Sick bay: Bears go easy to save bodies

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Sick bay: Bears go easy to save bodies

As he has for the past couple of Wednesdays, coach Lovie Smith put his team through a practice without helmets as part of a late-season plan to save wear on key players already dealing with physical fallout.

Even with the reduced workload, running backs Armando Allen (knee) and Matt Forte (ankle) did not practice, in addition to linebackers Blake Costanzo (calf) and Brian Urlacher (hamstring) and cornerback Charles Tillman (ribs).

The Bears signed former Houston and Miami safety Troy Nolan on Wednesday because of the doubtful situation with Chris Conte (hamstring), who Smith said appears to be headed for a prolonged stretch out of the lineup.

Tackle Jonathan Scott (hamstring) and defensive tackle Henry Melton (chest) were limited on Wednesday.

Several key Detroit Lions were limping through practice as well, with wide receiver Calvin Johnson (kneeankle), tight end Brandon Pettigrew (ankle), safety Louis Delas (knee) and defensive tackle Sammie Hill (toe) out altogether.

Cornerback Chris Hudson was limited with a hamstring strain.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Austin O'Connor

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Austin O'Connor

Four years, four state championships. 

That's what St. Rita senior wrestler Austin O'Connor accomplished over the past four years, becoming the 15th wrestler in IHSA history to do so. The Mustangs' grappler went undefeated this season and finished his IHSA career with a record of 181-4. 

O'Connor is planning on continuing his time on the mat at the University of North Carolina next season. Learn more about O'Connor in the video above. 

In the Gym at EFT: Vertical jump training

In the Gym at EFT: Vertical jump training

In the latest installment of In the Gym at EFT, performance specialist Kerry Neal teaches some valuable techniques to improve an athlete's vertical jump. 

Former Western Michigan Linebacker Grant DePalma gives an assist by demonstrating the drills. An athlete's vertical is an important tool and can be the difference during evaluation.

Learn some valuable tips above and be on the lookout for the next edition of In the Gym at EFT.