Braxton Jones

What Bears must see from Braxton Jones to activate LT for Week 8 vs. Chargers

Braxton Jones has been designated to return from IR. Here's what the Bears will need to see from the left tackle before activating him

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Braxton Jones will return to practice Wednesday as the Bears begin preparation to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football.

The Bears placed the second-year left tackle on injured reserve with a neck injury following their Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On Wednesday, the Bears opened Jones' 21-day practice window, giving them three weeks to either activate him or shut him down for the season.

"Just functionality. Is he functional in terms of his movements and what he’s done in terms of conditioning, that would be the second thin," head coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday at Halas Hall when asked what the Bears need to see from Jones to activate him. "Him working through it. When he feels like he’s ready and the trainers say that he’s good to go, we look at him as coaches, we’ll give him the green light. But I don’t know when that’s going to be. He’s got 21 days to figure that out. Hopefully, it’s sooner rather than later."

Larry Borom has started the last five games at left tackle in Jones' absence. Per Pro Football Focus, Borom has given up 19 pressures and two sacks in 170 pass-blocking opportunities.

In two games before his IR stint, Jones allowed four pressures and one sack in 89 pass-blocking snaps.

Jones' potential return is welcome news for the offensive line. However, the Bears could have an issue looming at right tackle as rookie Darnell Wright fights through a shoulder injury that clearly hampered him in the win over the Las Vegas Raiders.

"He just worked through it," Eberflus said. "I commend him for doing that. He was in some pain there and worked through it during the course of the day. He pushed through it. I know it didn’t look, for him, as well as he wanted it to, at times, but again, he’s working through that this week, and we’ll see where he is. I just commend him for gutting it through. Being a young guy like that going against the pass rusher he was going against, my hat’s off to him."

As for Wright's status for Sunday, how he practices this week will determine what the Bears do at right tackle against the Chargers.

"We’ll see where he is, and if he can function well and do a good job with his strength and protecting himself and play at a high level, then he’ll be in there," Eberflus said.

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