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Bears Injury Fest: Earl Bennett, Kelvin Hayden most serious

Updated: September 5, 2013 7:05AM



It doesn’t matter where the Bears are, injuries continue to be a nagging issue in training camp. Players were coming off the field and meeting with the training staff at a startling rate Saturday during “Family Fest” at Soldier Field.

Those hurt included wide receiver Earl Bennett (possible concussion), defensive end Julius Peppers (tight hamstring), wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (tight hamstring), nickel back Kelvin Hayden (left hamstring strain) and rookie defensive end Cornelius Washington (left elbow sprain).

Bennett’s and Hayden’s injuries sound like the most serious with the team saying Peppers and Jeffery were held out for precautionary reasons.

Bennett, who has a concussion history, was hit hard Friday at the end of practice by linebacker James Anderson in the end zone. He took off his helmet after the hit while sitting on the field. Hayden is considered “week-to-week” by the team.

The good news is that defensive end Corey Wootton (hip) was able to participate in individual position drills.

“I’m feeling better,” Wootton said. “I did individuals today. I just kind of tweaked it, and I’m just trying to get back into the swing of things.”

Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee), defensive lineman Jamaal Anderson (knee), left tackle Jermon Bushrod (calf strain) and linebacker D.J. Williams (calf strain) continued to sit out practice.

The new guy

Tight end Leonard Pope participated in his first practice after signing a one-year deal with the Bears after a visit Friday.

Pope has totaled 105 receptions for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns in 103 career games, starting 51 games with the Arizona Cardinals (2006-08), Kansas City Chiefs (2009-11) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2012).

Pope has “no doubt” he has a chance to make the team.

“It’s not going to be easy,” Pope said. “I’ve got to work my way. But I’ve been in the league for eight years now, and I know what it takes to be the type of player that you need to be.”

Hester attitude ‘great’

Without offensive or defensive drills to worry about, Devin Hester has a lot of time on his hands as a dedicated kick returner. But he has handled that situation well, special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said.

‘‘His attitude has been great,’’ DeCamillis said. ‘‘He’s been great from the start. We talked early on. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I really like where his mental point is.’’

Contributing: Mark Potash



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