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Bears DT Stephen Paea Hopeful To Play By Preseason Finale

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Stephen Paea is hopeful to be back at practice by the end of the week and be healthy enough to start the Bears' preseason finale on Aug. 30 against the Cleveland Browns, according to Jeff Dickers of ESPN Chicago.

Paea hasn't practiced since injuring his ankle 10 days ago. The 2011 second-round pick had assumed the starting nose tackle job over veteran Matt Toeaina after an impressive first couple of weeks of camp. In his rookie season last year, he notched 18 tackles and 2.0 sacks in 11 games.

Paea hopes to get back to practice after the Bears get back from New York for their preseason game with the Giants this weekend.

"Rehab is good," Paea said Monday. "Right now I’m feeling around 75 to 80 percent so I’m guessing another week will help. By the time the Cleveland Browns game (rolls around) I’m pretty sure I’ll suit up for the game. I’m guessing right after the Giants game (I can return to practice). I just follow the instructions the trainers give me and we go from there."

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