The Chicago Bears have pushed back defensive tackle Stephen Paea's return to the practice field by one week, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago. He still expects to play in the team's regular season opener on Sept. 9, but progress hasn't been great, as he tells Dickerson:
Right now I think I'm behind. I've been missing two weeks and when I get next week I know coach (Rod) Marinelli will have a little surprise for me in practice. As far as that, I just got to get better, get my feet right, get healthy and hopefully it's not going to come back in the near future.
On Aug. 11, Paea injured his left ankle during practice, and he's been sitting out ever since. Many believed that the second-year nose tackle was going to be named starter with a strong camp, but now there's a chance that Matt Toeaina starts on the defensive line instead, at least temporarily.