BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The most injury-plagued team in the NFL last season seemed to have good news on the health front at the start of camp.
Ryan Pace said Wednesday that he’s feeling “pretty optimistic” about the health and conditioning of his team. Players underwent physicals and the strength and conditioning test in the afternoon.
That optimism took a turn late Wednesday, though, when the team announced Pernell McPhee would begin camp on the PUP list for the second year in a row because of a knee injury. McPhee's knee limited him in the second half of 2015 and kept him out for camp and the first six games last season.
McPhee, who had four sacks this season and is the emotional leader for the defense, can be taken off the PUP list and return to practice at any time. He did participate in OTAs and minicamp.
Danny Trevathan, who tore his patellar tendon late last season, may even avoid the PUP list.
“There’s a chance he’s ready to roll,” Pace said. “We don’t have to PUP him but again, we need today to kind of evaluate and we’ll go from there.”
One player who we know is healthy is wide receiver Kevin White, entering Year Three after back-to-back season-ending injuries.
“He’s ready to go. He’s had a great summer, a great offseason, so he’s ready to go,” Pace said. “You can just feel his confidence gaining, knowledge of the offense and just being comfortable with his body. He’s pretty much unleashed.”
Next steps for Floyd: Pace’s 2016 first-round pick, Leonard Floyd, begins his second training camp with more muscle on his frame and, the Bears hope, better tackling technique after two concussions during his rookie campaign.
Floyd also is expected to have an expanded pass-rush arsenal we should see on display during camp.
“You see his speed, his quickness off the edge and I think you see his pass rush repertoire kind of developing, his ability to quickly counter,” Pace said. “He has a lot more kind of in his tool box as far as his pass rush moves, which is going to be exciting to see.”
High praise for Goldman: The Bears have high expectations for third-year defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, and Akiem Hicks has seen the potential.
“I wish I could put it into words, I’m never short on words, but he’s dominant,” Hicks said. “You can feel him next to you because I know that that guard isn’t going to come out and try to help or whatever the scenario is, I know I’m more likely to have a one-on-one with a guy when Eddie’s playing nose.”
Quick hits: Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton will not report to camp until this weekend because of the birth of his child. … Hicks said he is “completely open to ending my career here.” His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was spotted around the Olivet Nazarene campus late Wednesday afternoon, as Hicks is in the final year of his deal.