Mack ex­pected back to face Li­ons

Daily Southtown - - SCOREBOARD - By Dan Wiederer and Colleen Kane Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs con­trib­uted.

When Bears cor­ner­back Prince Amuka­mara ar­rived at Wed­nes­day morn­ing's walk-through at Halas Hall, he felt a surge of en­ergy. Out­side line­backer Khalil Mack was back on the field.

“Man,” Amuka­mara said. “When he came out to walk­through, I was like, ‘Yes! If he's in walk-through, he has to be play­ing this week.' … I think every­one is ex­cited about it.”

After two games on the side­line, Mack is aim­ing to play this week­end when the Bears face the Li­ons at Sol­dier Field.

Mack (an­kle), wide re­ceiver Allen Robin­son (groin), tight end Ben Brau­necker (con­cus­sion) and de­fen­sive line­man Bi­lal Ni­chols (knee) all were full par­tic­i­pants in Wed­nes­day's prac­tice.

Wide re­ceiver Tay­lor Gabriel was lim­ited with a knee in­jury, and tight end Dion Sims didn't prac­tice while un­der­go­ing con­cus­sion eval­u­a­tions after ex­it­ing the Bills game.

Mack sprained his right an­kle in the loss to the Dol­phins, was mostly in­ef­fec­tive the fol­low­ing week against the Pa­tri­ots and was then in­ac­tive for the team's last two vic­to­ries over the Jets and Bills. Those were the first two games Mack has missed in his five-year NFL ca­reer.

Long time com­ing: Tight end Adam Sha­heen prac­ticed Wed­nes­day for the first time since he in­jured his right foot and an­kle in the Aug. 18 pre­sea­son game against the Bron­cos.

“It's been a long time com­ing,” Sha­heen said. “I'm ex­cited for it.”

The Bears placed Sha­heen on in­jured re­serve Sept. 2, and he spent seven weeks wear­ing a cast and walk­ing boot, a re­cov­ery he said was “long, slow and painful.” He said re­gain­ing mo­bil­ity in his foot, an­kle and Achilles ten­don after he got the boot off was the big­gest chal­lenge, re­quir­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, stretch­ing, acupunc­ture, cup­ping and more.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said it re­mains to be seen how quickly Sha­heen can be­come game ready.

He was hav­ing a solid train­ing camp be­fore the in­jury and had four catches for 58 yards in two pre­sea­son games.

“He's a nice-sized guy so oneon-one bat­tles he does well with,” Nagy said. “It was tough to see him go down be­cause he was one of those guys that was pro­gress­ing pretty fast. So it'll be ex­cit­ing to get him back out there and see ex­actly where he's at.”

The right call: When the Bears de­clined to match the Saints' two-year con­tract of­fer to wide re­ceiver Cameron Mered­ith, it was based on con­cerns about his left knee, not his per­for­mance. And halfway through this sea­son it ap­pears the Bears made the right de­ci­sion.

The Saints on Wed­nes­day signed for­mer Cow­boys wide re­ceiver Dez Bryant to a one-year con­tract as Mered­ith's play­ing time has been lim­ited in New Or­leans.

Miller has 19 re­cep­tions for 210 yards and three touch­downs while Mered­ith hasn't been tar­geted by Saints quar­ter­back Drew Brees in the last three games. Mered­ith (nine catches, 114 yards, one touch­down) played only 13 snaps in Sun­day's win over the Rams and has been on the field for only 40 plays over the last three games.

The Saints felt Mered­ith was ahead of sched­ule over the sum­mer in re­turn­ing from the in­jury, but some play­ers need a full 18 months to re­cover fully from sim­i­lar in­juries.

CHRIS SWEDA/CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Bears out­side line­backer Khalil Mack was full a par­tic­i­pant in Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice.

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