Darnell Mooney participated in Bears practice for the first time since breaking his ankle in Week 12 against the Jets last season. It’s a big step for the young wide receiver, and it’s important that he managed to get himself ready for the first practice of training camp, but the Bears want Mooney to take things slowly this summer.
“I give the kudos to these guys,” Mooney said. “They’re slowly putting me through it because they know I can get a little crazy and just do so many things that break down my body. They’re getting me out of my own way. I appreciate that from them.”
Mooney started to run earlier this summer and went down to Florida to work out with Justin Fields and a slew of other pass catchers. He said he’s participated in some one-on-one drills on his own, so Wednesday’s practice wasn’t his first competition since returning from the injury. The Bears limited Mooney’s participation in practice to individual drills and a bit of 7-on-7 work, though. Mooney didn’t rep in 11-on-11s.
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“I appreciate these guys just taking the time and not letting me punish myself going out there full go,” Mooney said.
Now the Bears will evaluate how Mooney did with his workload and go from there.
“It’s whatever (Bears head athletic trainer Andre Tucker) and the physical therapist and those guys say where he is,” said head coach Matt Eberflus. “And we just do a ramp-up with those guys and the more they can handle as we go, we’ll just keep on inchin’ ‘em up.
“Mooney’s one of those guys we’ll track and make sure he’s in a good position before we just add everything.”