Deiondre’ Hall walks off the field after the Bears lost to the Texans 23-14 at NRG Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Houston. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
The Bears held a regular practice Thursday at Halas Hall, then broke in the early afternoon for the Thanksgiving holiday. They’ll be back on the field in Lake Forest on Friday, preparing for Sunday’s game against the Titans. Here’s an extra helping of news and insight to push things along.
Rookie cornerback Deiondre’ Hall was back as a limited participant at Thursday’s practice.
It was Hall’s first practice since Oct. 6. On that day, he suffered a severe sprain to his right ankle. He has been on the shelf since, missing six consecutive games. He initially needed a cast on his right foot and used a scooter for about three weeks, keeping weight off his foot as he moved around.
"The scooter was fun," Hall admitted Thursday. "But the guys got sick of me being on the scooter, having to ask for help (so often)."
Hall said his patience has been tested over the last seven weeks.
"I’ve never missed that much time," he said. "At first it was (emotionally taxing). But then it was just staying true to the training staff and what they incorporated for me to get back healthy. And it was staying true to God and praying. A lot."
Hall still isn’t sure whether he’ll get the green light to play Sunday. But as a rookie, he understands the value of these next six weeks to his development.
"Consistency will be key for me," he said. "And I’ve got to be able to make plays within the defense."
Titans running back DeMarco Murray will present a formidable challenge for the Bears defense.
Murray is the AFC’s rushing leader and joins Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys as the only backs to enter Week 12 with 1,000 rushing yards. Murray has 1,000 yards exactly, averaging 4.7 yards per carry in a bounce-back season. He has also reached the end zone in six consecutive games.
After a disappointing 2015 with the Eagles, Murray arrived in Tennessee via trade in March and has found a better fit in Mike Mularkey’s smash-mouth, run-heavy offense, a system that more closely resembles the one he was in in Dallas for four seasons.
"He’s back doing some things he’s familiar with," Mularkey said. "He knows our commitment to the run. He knows our commitment to being physical. That’s what he is. He’s a physical back who can do a lot of things for you. I think he’s happy with the way things are going and the direction we’re going. He’s our kind of back."
Leonard Floyd remains in the concussion protocol.
The rookie outside linebacker is no longer dealing with a neck problem, a promising development after he left Sunday’s game on a backboard. Floyd, though, has missed both Bears practices this week and is still awaiting clearance from the concussion he suffered when he slammed into defensive tackle Akiem Hicks with the crown of his helmet last week. Floyd remains iffy to play Sunday.