Nagging Injuries Continue to Sideline Players

While the Bears have spent the off-season trying to get healthy, there are still a handful of players watching from the sidelines.

The Bears are thin at tight end and without starter Desmond Clark the position has little more than a collection of practice squad players.

Clark sprained his ankle days before last month's mini-camp and is now in a walking boot with a noticeable limp.

While there is plenty of time for Clark to get healthy by the start of training camp, every day he misses puts him behind of where he wants to be.

Missing practices in June when trying to learn a new offense, means the seven-year veteran will have to make up for lost time in Bourbonnais.

Adewale Ogunleye missed off-season workouts last year because of a contract dispute with the Dolphins. Despite conditioning on his own, it took Ogunleye time to get into football shape when he was traded to Chicago.

Clark could face a similar fate. He's looking to bounce back after catching just 24 balls last year, in an scheme that was supposed to feature the tight end.

In the meantime, Dustin Lyman is getting the bulk of the reps with the first team. John Gilmore, John Owens and Gabe Reid round out the depth chart.

WR Airese Currie expected to be cleared for practice on June 1st. He had off-season surgery to repair a stress fracture of the foot, which is part of the reason he fell to the fifth round. He missed the first OTA, but should be back on the field soon.

Ogunleye is still recovering from a procedure to repair a torn tendon in his ankle, an injury he suffered on Oct. 17th against the Washington Redskins. He missed four games because of the problem and it limited his effectiveness when he did play. After leading the AFC with 15 sacks in 2003 that number dropped to 5 with the Bears.

CB Alfonso Marshall is the furthest from being ready. He suffered a ruptured right ACL on Nov. 15th, which puts him nearly two months behind Rex Grossman's seven-month recovery time. Meaning Marshall could miss the start of training camp.

"It's stronger and stronger every day," Marshall said. "I can't put a date on it right now, I'm just going to work hard and listen to my body."


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