Breaking News Bar
updated: 9/2/2014 8:09 PM

Mills eager to get back at it for Bears

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Chicago Bears offensive tackle Jordan Mills (67) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Cleveland. Chicago won 38-31.

      Chicago Bears offensive tackle Jordan Mills (67) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Cleveland. Chicago won 38-31.

  • Chicago Bears offensive tackle Jordan Mills (67) stands on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Cleveland. Chicago won 38-31.

      Chicago Bears offensive tackle Jordan Mills (67) stands on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Cleveland. Chicago won 38-31.

  • After being out since last season's finale, Bears right tackle Jordan Mills says he's ready to go for the season opener against Buffalo.

      After being out since last season's finale, Bears right tackle Jordan Mills says he's ready to go for the season opener against Buffalo.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

Assuming right tackle Jordan Mills lines up with the Bears' starters Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, it will be his first game of any kind since he suffered a left-foot injury in last year's season finale.

Mills didn't play at all in the preseason after suffering an injury to the same foot but says he's good to go.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"I'm very ready," said the 2013 fifth-round pick who started all 16 games last season. "For the past four or five days I've been getting good work. Even when I was out, I was getting good work with (strength and conditioning coordinator) Mike Clark and the training and conditioning staff. So I'm very prepared."

We'll see. Mills and the rest of the Bears' O-line will be put to the test against a Bills defensive front that is one of the NFL's best.

Buffalo's D-line led a pass rush that was second in the NFL last season with 57 sacks -- 26 more than the Bears -- including 13 from right end Mario Williams and 11½ from three-time Pro Bowl tackle Kyle Williams.

That's not the kind of defensive front that Mills wants to start playing catch-up against, although he and his linemates, each of whom started all 16 games last season, were fourth best in sacks allowed per pass play in 2013.

But Mills doesn't believe he has much catching up to do because of the mental reps and other preparation he did even while he wasn't practicing and his injured foot was in a protective boot.

"Every rep they were doing, I was doing behind them, even though I had the boot on. (Head athletic trainer) Chris Hanks was behind me giving me that look like he was going to jump on me like a jungle monkey if I step one more time," the 6-foot-5, 316-pound Mills said with a laugh.

"But when I had the chance to get work in and run and lift heavy and get quality reps in, I was getting it. So I don't feel that I'm that far behind. We have a great defense that I go against every day that makes us better. So it's like playing a game every practice."

Mills is confident the cohesion that he, right guard Kyle Long, center Roberto Garza, left guard Matt Slauson and right tackle Jermon Bushrod built through 16 games last season will be there Sunday.

"It's like riding a bike," he said. "You never forget how to ride it. I had to knock a little rust off, and once I got back in, when we got back together, it was like I never left."

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes doesn't have that level of comfort, since he only has been with the team since Aug. 16. But he should get playing time as a third or fourth wideout and possibly as a punt returner.

"At this point, there's no comfort level," Holmes said. "I'm still learning the system, working my way into one of the core guys for this team, and I still have a lot to learn.

"I'm spending a lot of time with (wide receivers) coach (Mike) Groh learning the offense and going over plays and formations and personnel and things like that on a daily basis to keep me caught up with the team."

Holmes fielded just 1 punt in the preseason, but he went 30 yards with it, providing the only spark in a bland kick-return game post-Devin Hester.

Veteran Micheal Spurlock, who had 5 preseason punt returns for 9 yards (1.8-yard average), is listed as the Bears' No. 1 punt returner, ahead of Holmes. Running back Senorise Perry is the top kickoff-return man with Spurlock behind him.

Holmes could get a chance to return punts against Buffalo.

"No expectations," he said, "but when my number is called, I'll be ready to roll."

More roster moves:

Wide receiver Marquess Wilson was placed on injured reserve/designated to return and cornerback Kelvin Hayden was re-signed to fill out the 53-man roster.

Wilson, the Bears' seventh-round draft pick in 2013, was slated to be the team's third wide receiver before he suffered a fractured clavicle during a training camp practice Aug. 4.

Hayden, a 10-year veteran, was waived Saturday in the final cutdown. The former Illini and Chicago native (Hubbard High School) has started 49 starts games, including two with the Bears in 2012. He spent last season on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in training camp.

• Follow Bob's Bears and NFL reports on Twitter@BobLeGere.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.