DT Nate Collins returns from ACL tear

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Defensive tackle Nate Collins tested out his surgically repaired left ACL without restrictions at Tuesday’s organized team activities (OTAs) session for the first time since the veteran defender suffered the season-ending injury last October against the New Orleans Saints.

Collins received full medical clearance from the Bears on Monday.

“I got to get in there and got some reps and finally got to watch myself on tape after watching everybody else,” Collins said. “But more importantly, I feel confident and I feel good out there so I’m looking forward to more practices and the rest of OTAs.

“It felt good to get out there, get in the mix, and go up against someone other than our trainers and bags.”

Collins said he went full-speed throughout the entire 90 minute session.

“I didn’t have to take it easy. I’m really just trying to go as hard as I can so I know that I’m ready,” Collins said.

The fifth-year veteran looked to be poised for a breakout year in 2013 before he tore the ACL. Collins recorded 14 tackles and one sack over the first five games. He signed a one-year deal to return to the Bears in the offseason.