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Rookie Will Sutton returns for last day of Bears minicamp

Updated: July 21, 2014 4:16PM

Third-round draft pick Will Sutton, who missed the first two days of the Bears’ mandatory minicamp to deal with a family emergency, returned for the last practice Thursday.

The defensive tackle from Arizona State didn’t think his absence affected his preparation for the season.

“I don’t feel like I’m behind at all,” Sutton said.

“Our video people [send] our practices to our iPads, so while I was away, I was studying, going over our plays.

“So when I came here, I didn’t lose a step.”

The two-time All-American said he was ready to go, regardless of what the Bears ask of him.

“Whatever my role is going to be, whether I’m going to play right away or if Coach wants to gradually throw me in . . . I’m going to take that role head-on,” he said.

Idonije one of four cut

Defensive lineman Israel Idonije’s second stint with the Bears didn’t last to ­training camp.

Idonije, who returned to the Bears after playing for them from 2004 to 2012, was one of four players let go.

The Bears waived quarterback Jerrod Johnson, tight end Fendi Onobun and safety Sean Cattouse.

They added two players: 6-4, 252-pound defensive end Jamil Merrell and 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker Conor O’Neill. Both were undrafted free agents, Merrell from Rutgers and O’Neill from Wisconsin.

Competition at backup RB

The Bears have a logjam at backup running back, coach Marc Trestman said.

Knowing that, running back Michael Ford, heading into his second season, has a team-first mentality.

“My mindset is doing whatever it takes to stay with the team,” Ford said.

Last season, Ford ran for 149 yards on 39 carries in the preseason.

“If they call me to play special teams, running back, whatever it is, I’ll do it,” Ford said.

The Bears drafted Ka’Deem Carey in the fourth round, picked up free agent Shaun Draughn and signed Northern Illinois Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch, who moved to running back.

“We’ve got a really good competition,” Trestman said. “But we just don’t know who has the edge when they’re only in shorts.”

This and that

Trestman said safety Chris Conte was sent home this week because he was sick with a contagious illness that wasn’t serious.

He didn’t know whether Conte would start training camp on the physically unable to perform list after having right shoulder surgery in March.

◆ The Bears’ first training-camp practice will begin at 9  a.m. July 25 at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.

Admission and parking are free. The last practice is Aug. 12.

Contributing: Patrick Finley

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