“He’s progressing,” Bears coach John Fox said. “He’s not been cleared yet for total contact, but he’s getting back in the thick of it. I think when he’s healthy, he’s a good matchup for us as a receiver, does add some return ability. The key is getting him healthy and keeping him healthy.”
Royal, who signed for $10 million guaranteed before last season, played in just nine games in 2015, catching 37 passes for 238 yards and one touchdown. The 30-year old wideout had 62 receptions for 778 yards and seven touchdowns for San Diego in 2014.
The Bears believe their receivers can benefit from Royal’s eight seasons of NFL experience, particularly former first-round pick Kevin White, who missed his entire rookie season.
“Eddie is helpful to all of us on and off the field, especially me," White said. "He’s a vet. He knows a lot and how to read defenses. He knows how to set guys up in different kinds of ways. He’s always giving us knowledge.”
In other injury news, tight end Zach Miller (concussion) practiced Saturday, but wore a red jersey to signify he is off-limits in terms of contact.
A handful of Bears players sat out the session, held under the lights in front of fans at Warren Township High School in Suburban Chicago: running back Jeremy Langford (foot), guard Kyle Long (shoulder), receiver Deonte Thompson (ankle), tight end Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (hamstring).
The Bears are scheduled to work out at Halas Hall on Sunday before a day off on Monday.