Bears linebacker Sam Acho on facing ex-team: Let's freaking go

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Sam Acho can’t hide his enthusiasm for Sunday’s game against Arizona.

"Let’s freaking go. I’m excited," Acho said about playing his former team.

No one can blame Acho for feeling upbeat.

The former Cardinals starting outside linebacker is finally over a rough stretch that derailed a promising start to the preseason. Several weeks ago Acho contracted a non-football related illness that knocked him out of commission and off the roster for Week 1 -- the Chicago Bears cut Acho the day before their 31-23 loss to Green Bay.

Acho, however, re-signed with Chicago on Monday, and had full participation in practice on Thursday,

"As a man I love to provide for my family," Acho said. "When you’re not able to work ... people see work as a bad thing sometimes, but when you love work it’s hard to not be there. Being back out here is unbelievable.

"It crushed me to miss the first game because we only have limited games. Missing any game is never fun, but I’m excited to be ready for this one."

Acho was a key member of Arizona's defense -- he started 33 games at outside linebacker over four seasons -- but his role for the Bears is expected to center on special teams. Acho dabbled on special teams with the Cardinals, but in Chicago, the linebacker is built to be a three or four-phase contributor.

"The opportunity to protect on punt and go down there and cover, and to be on kickoff and kickoff return; people just don’t value special teams much, but we do here and we know it’s going to help us with the battle of field position," Acho said.

"I loved my time in Arizona, but I’m glad to be a Bear," he added.