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Bears rookie Alshon Jeffery gets caught retaliating

Updated: September 21, 2012 6:33AM

Rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery continued his impressive preseason with three receptions for 62 yards in the 33-31 victory Saturday night against the Washington Redskins. But he also learned a lesson he should’ve known going in: The guy who retaliates always gets the penalty.

Jeffery was called for unnecessary roughness when he was caught retaliating in a scrap with cornerback DeAngelo Hall after an eight-yard run by Matt Forte in the first quarter.

‘‘I’ll just walk away next time and go back to the huddle,’’ Jeffery said.

The penalty is the only evidence of any of the red flags that supposedly dropped Jeffery into the second round of the draft. In his last college game, he was ejected from the Capital One Bowl for shoving Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard after a similar confrontation.

Jeffery said coaches told him to ‘‘just play smarter.’’

‘‘It was just part of the game, just playing physical,’’ the 6-3, 217-pound Jeffery said. ‘‘Everyone’s going to go at you and give you their best shot. We were both in the moment and going at each other.’’

Hardin ‘OK’

Rookie safety Brandon Hardin, who left Soldier Field on a spinal board after suffering a neck injury, was in good spirits in updating his condition via his Twitter account Sunday morning:

‘‘Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. I can’t give an exact update, but the good news is that I’m gonna be OK. And we won! Lol.’’

One small step

Left tackle J’Marcus Webb was encouraged after playing the first two series as the Bears took a 7-0 lead. Chris Williams played the last two series at left tackle with the first-team offense, and Webb later played with the second team.

‘‘I definitely think I improved this week,’’ Webb said. ‘‘And there are definitely a lot of things I have to improve — taking little steps, my feet, hands, knowing [which rusher] to go to. They try to confuse you a lot.

‘‘Just to get out there and work it out with everybody is fun.’’

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