Brandon Marshall gave the Bears a scare on Saturday and he wasn’t the only Bears wide receiver to avoid a serious injury during the opening weekend of camp.
Devin Hester didn’t practice in the first full pads workout on Saturday because he turned his ankle during practice on Friday. Hester was hurt after landing awkwardly while trying to catch a pass against safety Major Wright.
“We’re gonna have accidents like that,” Hester said, via Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com. “If you don’t expect accidents, then you shouldn’t play football. It’s just the nature of the beast. There are gonna be accidents, even if we’re playing touch.”
Coach Lovie Smith said that the team expects Hester back on the field on Sunday. There’s been another round of optimistic talk about Hester’s offensive role with the Bears this season, although these annual pronouncements have never preceded a breakout campaign for Hester on offense. This year’s main talking point, as outlined by the Associated Press, is that Hester was underutilized by former offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
Hester was a much less effective returner when he was playing a major offensive role, though, and he had six touchdowns in the kicking game during the two years Martz ran the offense. With Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey on the squad this year, Hester should find more advantageous situations in coverage than in past seasons. Their presence means the Bears can spot Hester into those situations while also getting the full benefits of his return ability, something that could turn into a double win in Chicago.