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Training Camp Injuries Starting to Stack Up on the Chicago Bears Defense

Stephen Paea
Stephen PaeaScott Cunningham/Getty Images
Brett SoleskyCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2012

Minor injuries are starting to catch up to the Chicago Bears on defense, with multiple players along the front seven missing practice on Sunday.

Usual suspect Brian Urlacher missed yet another practice but reiterated to the media he would be prepared to start the opener against the Colts.

Also missing among the linebackers, Geno Hayes was out with an illness.  Hayes likely will be back tomorrow or as soon as he feels better.  Hopefully he isn't dehydrated much by this illness.

Second-year linebacker Dom DeCicco missed his second straight practice with a groin injury.  DeCicco misses a golden opportunity to get key reps with the first team with his injury.  He tweaked his groin during the game against the Broncos but it shouldn't keep him out for an extended period of time.

Stephen Paea showed up to practice in a walking boot to protect a mid-ankle sprain suffered from yesterday's practice.  Paea fell over awkwardly during drills and limped off afterwards.  Paea was just starting to hit his stride as the starting nose tackle.

Paea's injury is the biggest concern on defense because he was poised for a break-out year.  Hopefully his development is not hampered for the second year in a row by an injury he suffered in camp.

Paea is expected to be out one to two weeks with this mild ankle sprain which is a concern considering how strong his camp was going to this point. 

Backup nose tackle Matt Toeaina takes over at the first-team nose tackle spot.  Toeaina hasn't had a very strong camp and now has a big chance to get back on track.

Also hurt today was defensive tackle Brian Price who suffered a neck stinger.  Price is the third-team nose tackle and leaves the Bears with one real strong option at NT.

Offensive guard Chilo Rachal also missed practice today. The diagnosis of Rachal's injury was general soreness, which likely won't keep him out very long.

Four defensive tackles missing time this camp with injuries is the real concern as depth at that position would mean a lot more reps for Henry Melton and Matt Toeaina.

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