Updated: September 23, 2013 2:48PM
In two preseason games, the Bears’ defense has maintained its identity even without defensive end Julius Peppers. The unit has gotten after quarterbacks and created a handful of turnovers.
But things only will get better once Peppers returns.
Coach Marc Trestman had hoped that Peppers, who tweaked his hamstring Aug. 3 in practice at Soldier Field, would be able to get in for a few snaps against the San Diego Chargers last week.
But Peppers didn’t feel quite right, Trestman said.
Peppers has practiced all week, and Trestman said Wednesday that he’s encouraged he’ll play Friday against the Oakland Raiders.
If Peppers plays, he probably won’t see too much action.
It might be his only chance to get some preseason work in because the Bears will be looking to evaluate other players in the last exhibition against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field.
“Every player needs to work and needs to play, but we’ll do the right thing for Julius,” Trestman said. “He’s been doing this for a long time.
‘‘That’s why these guys come out here and work as hard as they do, and the veterans you saw in training camp, they work. They want to play, they want to work, and we’ll see where he is.
‘‘He’ll get a chance to play if he’s 100 percent and believes he can go 100 percent.”
Even if Peppers sits again, Trestman believes he’ll be fine for Week 1.
“There’s no concern there,” Trestman said.
“There’s no concern based on practice Wednesday and his level of conditioning that he’ll be ready to play, but that’s a long way away.”
Scott still sidelined
It’ll still be awhile before offensive tackle Jonathan Scott returns from his right-knee injury, which required minor surgery.
His continued absence at practice means J’Marcus Webb fills the swing-tackle role.
“[Scott is] getting better every day,” Trestman said. “We feel good enough that we’ll see him get a little more work over the next 10 days as we move forward.
‘‘The best I’ve heard from Jonathan is that he’s back up and his knee is cleaned out.
‘‘We’re encouraged that he’ll be working soon.”
In other injury news, linebacker D.J. Williams (right calf), defensive end Cheta Ozougwu (hamstring), defensive tackle Corvey Irvin (ankle), long snapper Patrick Mannelly (ribs), running back Harvey Unga (ribs) and quarterback Matt Blanchard (left hand) sat out practice.
Quote of the day
Tight end Martellus Bennett, on if he has to tell quarterback Jay Cutler if he’s open: “He sees me. I’m 6-7, big black guy running down the field. He sees me. I wear white gloves, so he can see the white gloves when I wave them like Mickey Mouse. I’m clapping every time I’m open. I do enough of that to let him know I’m open before I have to tell him.”