Conte Has Plans to Play in Opener...............
Conte plans on playing in opener
Safety will rehab dislocated shoulder in hopes it will be strong enough for Sept. 9 against Colts
By Vaughn McClure, Chicago Tribune reporter 8:58 p.m. CDT, August 21, 2012
Chris Conte, who dislocated his right shoulder Saturday in the Bears' exhibition victory over the Redskins, plans to return for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Colts in Soldier Field.
The starting free safety remained sidelined at practice Tuesday while recovering from the injury.
"They didn't give me a time frame, but it's day-to-day,'' Conte said. "There's no doubt in my mind that I'll be back for Game 1.''
Conte was injured tackling Redskins running back Evan Royster midway through the second quarter. He left the stadium in a sling.
"I just hit him, and I thought it was a normal hit,'' Conte said. "They way I hit him, my shoulder just came out.''
A dislocation occurs with the top of the arm bone loses contact with the shoulder blade, as is what happened to Conte. A separated shoulder happens as a result of spraining the AC joint at the top of the shoulder. Depending on the degree of separation, the dislocation could be viewed as a more severe injury because of the arm coming out of the shoulder socket.
There are no plans for Conte to have surgery, and doctors typically only perform those on recurring dislocations of the shoulder. Conte is expected simply to rehab his shoulder the remainder of the preseason and possibly play with a harness when he returns to action.
With Conte sidelined and his backup, rookie Brandon Hardin, out with a neck injury, the Bears are thin at the position. Major Wright and Craig Steltz will start Friday against the host Giants. Wright, who has been working as the starting strong safety, continued in that role Tuesday with Steltz at free safety.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said his safeties are interchangeable.
"What you like to do at this time of the year is they both play both,'' Marinelli said of Wright and Steltz. "You want to keep them sharp. You don't want to get a guy just buried into one position."
Extra points: Special teams coordinator Dave Toub singled out the play of veteran Eric Weems against the Redskins. Toub didn't mention anyone else. … Linebacker Brian Urlacher (knee), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (ankle) and tight end Matt Spaeth (leg) were among the players sidelined at practice along with punter Adam Podlesh (hip), Conte, and Hardin. … Defensive end Corey Wootton (groin) returned to practice after sitting out Monday. … The Bears waived/injured defensive tackle DeMario Pressley, who had been sidelined with a foot injury.