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3 things we learned at Chicago Bears training camp, including rookie DB Kyler Gordon’s continued absence from practice – Boston Herald

Because of persistent rain, the Chicago Bears closed Sunday’s training camp practice to the public and went inside the Walter Payton Center for their on-field work.

It was the 10th practice of camp for the Bears, who will take Monday off before heading to Soldier Field for Tuesday’s Family Fest event.

Here are three things we learned at Halas Hall.

1. The Bears defense continues to build momentum and chemistry.

As much as the outside spotlight has been on the offense’s consistent struggles, the defense deserves mention for its playmaking ability and unity during the first 10 practices.

Veteran safety Eddie Jackson expressed satisfaction last week with the tone that has been set by a defense that has responded to the demands of its coaching staff.

“You haven’t heard one person complain,” Jackson said. “Not about a day, not about a period, not about how hot it is. We’re all still going.

“I’ve been on a bunch of teams where you have guys who don’t complain and they’ll just do the work. And then you (sometimes) have guys who complain about everything. To see that we don’t have those types of guys, I feel like that’s really helping.”

Defensive end Trevis Gipson doubled down on Jackson’s sentiments Sunday, praising coordinator Alan Williams’ leadership as well.

“He set the standard and told us from Day 1 what this is going to be, what it’s not going to be,” Gipson said. “I think as a defense that we have followed along and come along those roads. We still have things to improve on, but nobody’s pouting or turning their head because the standard is the standard and we’re holding each other accountable.

“The energy is crazy. We all feed off each other. But when you’re holding guys accountable, it also puts more pressure on yourself. You have to rise to that. You have guys depending on you to do your job.”

Added Williams: “When guys have good attitudes, the chemistry comes faster. That’s a big deal when you’re jelling as a defense.”

2. The Bears are in scramble mode at slot cornerback.

Rookie Kyler Gordon missed his third consecutive practice Sunday with an undisclosed injury. The Bears were without two other nickel corner options, Tavon Young and Duke Shelley, who also are dealing with injuries. Second-year cornerback Thomas Graham has missed all of camp to this point.

That has left Williams to troubleshoot his secondary and has opened the door for Jaylon Jones, an undrafted rookie from Ole Miss, to get additional opportunities.

Gordon missed a chunk of time because of injury during the Bears’ spring practices as well, so his availability will have to be closely monitored.

Williams called it a “wait-and-see” situation to interpret how quickly the rookie can catch up when he returns, but he expressed satisfaction with the way Gordon has maintained his attention to detail when he hasn’t been able to practice.

“He’s working at his craft in the morning,” Williams said. “He’s staying late watching tape. He comes in with questions. That’s not a typical rookie. Those are veteran habits. I’m excited about that part.”

3. With the preseason opener nearing, the Bears will try to get healthier over the next few days.

Fifteen players missed practice Sunday, including receivers Byron Pringle, N’Keal Harry, Velus Jones Jr. and Dante Pettis.

Also missing were defensive linemen Angelo Blackson and Al-Quadin Muhammad, tight end James O’Shaughnessy, offensive tackle Julien Davenport and linebacker Noah Dawkins. Center Lucas Patrick remains out with a right thumb injury, and linebacker Roquan Smith is still on the physically unable to perform list.

The Bears will host the Kansas City Chiefs at noon Saturday at Soldier Field, and coach Matt Eberflus has promised to play his starters.


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