9 takeaways from the Bears’ 18th training camp practice

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Following their preseason loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Chicago Bears returned to the practice field Monday at Halas Hall for a non-padded practice to kick off their final week of preseason.

There was some surprisingly good news on the injury front as right tackle Germain Ifedi was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list, guard James Daniels returned to the lineup and new Bear Jason Peters got some work at left tackle.

Following Monday’s practice, here’s a look at what we learned from Day 18 of training camp:

The Bears offensive line is the healthiest it's been since start of training camp

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

No doubt the biggest concern surrounding the Bears has been the offensive line, which has been dealt injuries and depth concerns. Chicago finally got some good news in regards to the offensive line on Monday, where there were two returning starters in right tackle Germain Ifedi and right guard James Daniels returning to practice. Perennial left tackle Jason Peters also joined the mix. With what projects to be their starting five offensive linemen in tow, the Bears offensive line is the healthiest it's been since the start of training camp. At one point this summer, Chicago was down to just two projected starters in left guard Cody Whitehair and center Sam Mustipher. https://twitter.com/markgrotesports/status/1429807657104388102?s=20 Suddenly the Bears' offensive line looks a lot better than it did just last Saturday against the Bills. But there are still questions at the tackle position, specifically depth at the position should Peters or Ifedi be sidelined.

Justin Fields got reps with some starting receivers

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

With rookie quarterback Justin Fields expected to see the field as a starter at some point this season, there's a growing concern about his lack of reps with the first-team offense. After all, there's only so much playing behind a struggling second-team offensive line and with backup receivers who aren't making plays on the ball. Last week, head coach Matt Nagy said he'd like to get Fields some reps with the starters on offense and against a starting defense. That didn't happen last week or against the Bills. But the hope is that changes when Chicago heads to Tennessee to face the Titans in the preseason finale. We're headed in the right direction. While Fields didn't get reps with the first-team offense or against the starting defense during Monday's practice, he did get some reps with the first-team skill players, including Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Jimmy Graham and Damiere Byrd. https://twitter.com/AdamHoge/status/1429824799707107334?s=20 https://twitter.com/DaTailGateShow/status/1429836782112288768?s=20 There was one play during practice where Fields threw a pass to Robinson, which was just out of his reach. It was the perfect example of why these first-team reps are so valuable and necessary for Fields, as he needs to work on his timing with his receivers.

Jason Peters got the start at left tackle

AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

When the Bears brought in perennial left tackle Jason Peters, the obvious intention was for him to serve as the team's starting left tackle with rookie Teven Jenkins sidelined indefinitely following back surgery. But Nagy isn't one to simply hand over a starting job -- unless it's to Dalton. So it's been presented as Peters will have to win the starting left tackle over rookie Larry Borom and Elijah Wilkinson. It shouldn't be too difficult for someone of Peters' experience, and it already feels like he has the upper hand. During individual drills, Peters was lining up at left tackle with the Bears starters, which is pretty telling. https://twitter.com/NicholasMoreano/status/1429807815472861185?s=20 Peters practiced for the first time last Thursday, although he didn't play against the Bills. The goal is for Peters to get ramped ahead and see action in Saturday's preseason finale against the Titans.

Focus for defense was on tackling following preseason performance

AP Photo/Nam Y. Hu)

The Bears starting defense gave a relatively uninspired performance, where they let former teammate Mitch Trubisky and the Bills offense march all over them to the tune of four consecutive touchdown drives. “Anytime you come out there and you let a team just impose their will — that’s essentially what happened,” safety Tashaun Gipson told reporters Monday. “That’s always tough. That’s not the standard we want to put ourselves through. That’s not the standard. It’s definitely tough. Obviously. We put it on tape. Now we have to go back and correct.” Missed tackles was a big issue for the defense against Buffalo, and it was a focal point of Monday's practice. https://twitter.com/patrickfinley/status/1429836089448095749?s=20 But Gipson says it isn't reason to worry about the defense heading into this season. “Obviously, man, this is the preseason,” he said. “That’s what this is for. There’s no need to panic.”

Isaiah Coulter made immediate impression

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The Bears signed former Texans wide receiver Isaiah Coulter on Sunday night, and he made an immediate impression in his first practice with his new team. Fields connected with Coulter on a deep touchdown during 11-on-11 drills. https://twitter.com/Zack_Pearson/status/1429816401372581888?s=20 The new Bears wideout faces an uphill battle to earn a roster spot, given he's late to the party with just one week of practice and one preseason game left to prove himself.

Darnell Mooney had impressive practice

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Darnell Mooney is primed for a breakout sophomore year, where he's already impressed with his "on fire" route running and expanding his route tree. Mooney has been a standout player during training camp, which was the case during Monday's practice. Mooney had a couple of standout plays, including an intermediate throw over the middle from Fields and a deep ball from Dalton for a touchdown. https://twitter.com/AlexShapiroNBCS/status/1429819582492053513?s=20

Kindle Vildor had impressive practice

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Another second-year player who had a strong practice was cornerback Kindle Vildor, who is vying for the starting cornerback job opposite Jaylon Johnson. With Johnson missing practice for a personal reason, Vildor and Artie Burns got increased reps. Johnson made a couple of big plays, including an interception of Dalton and some good coverage of Mooney. https://twitter.com/markgrotesports/status/1429827766283907073?s=20 Vildor is the favorite to land the starting job, as he's been listed as the starting cornerback on both unofficial depth charts and has seen most of the reps with the starting defense.

Rodney Adams saw reps with first-team offense

Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver Rodney Adams has made a name for himself this summer, especially over the last two weeks of preseason. Adams has been the Bears' leading receivers in both of those games, where he's also come down with a couple of impressive catches, including a 73-yard catch-and-run touchdown from Dalton. It's worth noting that Adams got some reps with the first-team offense and Dalton on Monday. Adams hauled in a catch over the middle of the field with Vildor in coverage. https://twitter.com/itsthebigs/status/1429826140756193281?s=20 https://twitter.com/NicholasMoreano/status/1429826269181530119?s=20 With Adams getting some reps with the starters -- and his established chemistry with Fields -- he's making a strong case to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

Injury update

AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

There were plenty of injury updates from before and after Monday's practice. Here's a run down of who practiced, who didn't and updates following practice: IN

  • RG James Daniels

  • NT Eddie Goldman

  • RT Germain Ifedi

  • LB Roquan Smith

  • LB Danny Trevathan

  • RB Ryan Nall

OUT

  • DE Bilal Nichols (toe)

  • TE Scooter Harrington (knee)

  • TE Jesper Horsted (knee)

  • S Jordan Lucas (quad)

  • NT Mike Pennel (groin)

  • LS Pat Scales (ankle)

  • OLB Sam Kamara (ankle)

  • WR Javon Wims (oblique)

Updates after practice:

  • Cornerback Jaylon Johnson missed practice for personal reasons

  • Safety Teez Tabor suffered a thigh injury during practice

  • Linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe missed practice due to an unspecified illness

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