The Bears started the last part of their voluntary offseason training activities (OTA’s) today with full squad practices finally allowed. There are no pads and there’s certainly no hitting allowed, but it gives the team a chance to go 7 on 7, 9 on 7 and full squad 11 on 11 practices. There will be a mandatory full team minicamp from June 17 – 19th.
A few Bears were sidelined during the first full day of practice, but there was one surprise among the bystanders, left guard Matt Slauson. The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs confirmed that Slauson was not practicing because of offseason shoulder surgery:
Slauson had a partial labrum tear and could have played this season with the injury, but the decision was made to repair it.
Slauson signed a hefty four-year contract extension at the onset of the offseason. You may have missed it as it was announced the same day that Jay Cutler signed his 7-year mega-deal.
Slauson’s offseason surgery might explain why the Bears re-signed Eben Britton and added center Brian de la Puenta later in the offseason. Both filled in for Slauson in practice on Tuesday. By all accounts, Slauson is expected to be cleared before training camp and could even return for mandatory minicamp next month.