LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chase Claypool didn't practice long Wednesday, but it was an eventful afternoon at Halas Hall for the Bears' fourth-year wide receiver.
Claypool lined up against rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson in individual drills. Stevenson tried to jam Claypool at the line, but the receiver tossed him aside to spring open down the sideline. Claypool was flagged for offensive pass interference, though.
As Stevenson picked himself off the ground, the rookie cornerback started jawing at Claypool. The two continued their expletive-laden back-and-forth until cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke pulled Stevenson away to talk with him.
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Claypool continued to yell in Stevenson's direction until his next rep. It would be his final one of the day.
Claypool fired off the line to run a vertical route against Jaylon Jones but pulled up almost immediately. Claypool turned around and looked at Stevenson before saying he hurt his hamstring while roasting the rookie cornerback. The two then continued to jaw until Hoke once again pulled Stevenson aside.
Claypool did not participate in the rest of practice but stayed on the sideline and appeared to be in good spirits.
"That’s just physical," head coach Matt Eberflus said of the Claypool-Stevenson altercation after practice. "The guys are just being physical out there. That’s why we’ve got pads on, There’s nothing wrong with that. You’ve gotta have some of that, for sure. It’s a physical game."
Claypool and Stevenson have been going at it a lot in recent practices. During one practice last, Claypool and Stevenson were exchanging words when the rookie cornerback's mouthpiece fell on the ground. Claypool stepped on the mouthpiece before scuffing his cleat on it.
The fourth-year receiver also got into a scuffle with safety Eddie Jackson last week. Jackson gave Claypool a solid hit with his shoulder pad as Claypool was heading out of bounds. The wide receiver took exception to the hit and went back at Jackson, eventually taking the safety's helmet off. General manager Ryan Poles eventually had to step in to calm everything down between the two.
The Bears have lauded Claypool's fire throughout camp. The offense is full of quiet leaders, and Claypool brings a needed edge. But even Darnell Mooney admitted there's a risk that Claypool might go over the line.
The constant jawing with Stevenson and other defensive backs hasn't reached that point, though.
"I just look at when you talk to another opponent, and that certainly happens during the game and that’s part of some people’s game, and some guys are more focused and more quiet," Eberflus said. "But if that’s part of the game, as long as it doesn’t lead into penalties or lack of execution. So if you can keep your focus and that’s how you do it and you don’t fight — because that’s a penalty — that’s part of the game. That’s how I look at it.”
Claypool has had a good camp to this point. He has been healthy, used his body well in the red zone, and developed his chemistry with quarterback Justin Fields. Even a moderate hamstring injury could be a severe setback to his efforts to hit the ground running in a contract year.
There was no update on Claypool's injury after practice.
Here are more notes from Wednesday's practice:
-- Quarterback Justin Fields and the first-team offense had a clunky, sloppy day in a return to pads.
The Bears' offense worked on a lot of situational drills, including a lot of third-down work.
Execution and consistency were lacking in the play-it periods.
We'll start with the third team period:
The first-team offense started with the ball at midfield. The offense opened the drill with a play-action bootleg to the right. Fields hit tight end Stephen Carlson for a catch-and-run of 16. Two Khalil Herbert runs -- one for a loss of 3 and one for a gain of 5 -- along with a Darnell Wright false start, set up third-and-13 at the 39.
Fields dropped back and threw a seed to Equanimeous St. Brown on a deep crossing route for a gain of 19 and a first down.
The Bears picked up 4 yards on the next two plays to face a third-and-6 at the 16-yard line. Fields faced some pressure but made a beautiful side-arm throw to DJ Moore. The off-script throw had first down written all over it, but Stevenson made a terrific play on the ball to break up the pass and win the drill for the defense.
-- The high red-zone period was unkind to the first-team offense.
Fields opened the drill with an incomplete pass intended for Darnell Mooney. Jaylon Johnson played tight coverage to break up the play. The Bears handed the ball to Herbert on second-and-10, but Andrew Billings mauled Ja'Tyre Carter, blowing the play up for a loss of a few. Fields looked for tight end Cole Kmet up the seam on third-and-long, but Stevenson deflected the pass to force a three-and-out.
The second attempt in the high red zone was a little more successful.
After a run for no gain by Hebert on first down, Fields hit Moore for 6 on a slant before picking up a first down with his legs on third-and-4.
-- The Bears' offense ended the day with a two-minute drill. Fields and Co. had 1:40 left and the ball at their own 30-yard line against a mixture of the first- and second-team defense.
The drive got off to a poor start as Dominique Robinson beat Braxton Jones around the edge for a sack. But Fields bailed the Bears out of second and long by connecting with Moore on a beautiful pass down the left sideline. Moore made a nice leaping catch for a gain of 35.
Fields picked up 6 on the ground on the ensuing first down before hitting Darnell Mooney for 7. With 48 seconds left, Fields found Herbert out of the backfield for a gain of 6 and then again for 10 before clocking the ball at the 24.
On second-and-10, Fields once again hit Herbert for a gain of five to set up third-and-manageable. Fields looked for Moore up the seam on third-and-5, but Kyler Gordon had good coverage on the play and broke up the pass.
Eberflus wanted a touchdown out of the drill, so the Bears went for it on fourth-and-6 with the clock running down.
Fields threw it to Herbert on the left side to set up a lateral, but the defense easily rallied to stonewall the attempt.
-- The Bears' offense did show some poise in the third-down situational drills. Fields had several nice connections with Moore and two impressive darts to St. Brown in the middle of the field.
-- The first-team offense had four false starts, including two on Wright and one on Jones.
-- Rookie linebacker Noah Sewell continues to be all over the field. He punched a ball out of St. Brown's hands and returned it for a touchdown, but the refs ruled the receiver was "down" and let the offense keep the ball. Sewell was also the first to stop Herbert on the final play of the two-minute drill.
-- Running back Trestan Ebner broke off a 70-yard touchdown run in team drills.
-- Left guard Teven Jenkins briefly left team drills but returned. Jenkins was good in pass pro and opened up some solid holes in the run game.
-- Undrafted rookie free agent Micah Baskerville recorded two interceptions Wednesday. P.J. Walker and Tyson Bagent threw the passes.
-- St. Brown came up hobbling during the 7-on-7 period. He did not return to practice.
-- Running back D'Onta Foreman didn't take a rep after the first team period.
-- Right guard Nate Davis, safety Jaquan Brisker, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, running back Travis Homer, defensive end DeMarcus Walker, cornerback Terell Smith, defensive end Terrell Lewis, offensive lineman Lucas Patrick, linebacker Dylan Cole, tight end Marcedes Lewis, and wide receiver Dante Pettis did not participate.
-- The Bears activated Pettis from the non-football injury list after practice.
-- Safety Eddie Jackson returned to practice Wednesday but was limited.
-- Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue continued his ramp-up period. He did not participate in team drills.