LAKE FOREST – After dealing with nicks and bruises all summer, the Bears had no one on the first injury report of the season.
Every player participated in Wednesday’s practice in full, including Earl Bennett, Henry Melton and D.J. Williams.
“Everybody worked today. All the players that you’ve asked about over the last few weeks how they were doing were out there,” head coach Marc Trestman said.
For the Bears’ Week 1 opponent, the Cincinatti Bengals, starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee) did not participate, along with cornerback Brandon Ghee (concussion) and guard Mike Pollak (knee). Defensive tackle Devon Still (knee) was a limited participant.
Tight end Tyler Eifert (forearm), defensive end Carlos Dunlap (concussion) and right tackle Andre Smith (knee) all participated in full.
Peppers pay change: The Bears restructured Julius Peppers’ contract, lowering his base salary for 2013 from $12.9 million to $9.9 million, NFLPA records confirmed. Yahoo Sports’ Brian McIntyre first reported the restructuring, and that the $3 million was converted to a signing bonus and the restructuring creates $2 million in salary cap space. Wednesday afternoon was the deadline for all NFL player contracts to fit within each club’s 2013 salary cap. Peppers, 33, still has extremely high cap hits in 2014 and 2015, the final years of his contract. When asked about the restructuring, Peppers responded, “I don’t really know what to say to that, but I guess you can analyze it how you want to. But I guess it’s confirmed.”
D.J. in the mix: Now a full participant in practice after suffering a calf injury early in camp, middle linebacker D.J. Williams is on track to play Sunday, giving the coaching staff the “good problem to have” of deciding how to split snaps between Williams and rookie Jon Bostic. “There’s no reason they can’t both be up,” Trestman said. “Jonathan, if he’s not taking as many snaps at the middle linebacker position, that’ll give him more opportunities on special teams. If it continues this way, we’ll see how it goes, we’ll make a final decision how we’re going to play them.”
Practice squad swap: The Bears made a move on the practice squad Wednesday, signing guard Derek Dennis and releasing quarterback Jerrod Johnson. Dennis was on the Bears’ practice squad for the final five weeks of the 2012 season and he was with the team in the preseason. Dennis played every snap at guard in the Bears’ preseason finale against Cleveland before being waived. Trestman was asked about the move after practice Wednesday. “We’re just in the process of moving our roster around,” he said. “There were multiple issues putting this 53 together for the week, and we’re not closing the door on [Johnson] either. It’s certainly possible that he could be back in the very near future.”