Continuing to recover from what he has described as a stomach bug, Bears first-round draft pick Leonard Floyd returned to practice on a limited basis Saturday.
Linebacker Leonard Floyd returned to practice field on Saturday.
The outside linebacker from Georgia had exited the team's first training camp workout Thursday due to the illness and sat out Friday's session as well.
"It felt great just to get back out there with those guys," Floyd said Saturday. "I believe we had a pretty good day. However, it was our first day in pads. There was a lot of hitting going on out there and I was happy to just be out there with the fellas."
The ninth overall pick in this year's draft wanted to practice Thursday and Friday but understands why he was held out.
"I was pretty upset when the trainers wouldn't let me go out, but that's just them doing their jobs," Floyd said. "They're some great guys and I love them. I'm glad they took me out and got me back out there today."
The Bears are excited about Floyd's athleticism and playmaking ability and were happy to have him back on the practice field Saturday.
"Leonard is exceptionally quick and explosive," said coach John Fox. "We saw that on tape as a college player and all through the OTAs. A lot was made of his weight, but that takes care of itself. He's just a good football player."
Helping hand: Outside linebacker Willie Young, a seven-year veteran who signed a two-year contract extension Saturday through 2018, has taken Floyd under his wing.
"They interact all the time," said general manager Ryan Pace. "It's not just stuff here on the field. It's off the field, too. And Willie's just really natural with that. He and Leonard have become good friends real fast. That's what I appreciate. It's not just seeing what's out here. It's going on in the locker room and away from here and going out to dinners and all that. I appreciate that Willie takes an interest in helping him out."
Young was grateful that some of his older teammates helped him transition into the NFL with the Detroit Lions in 2010 and is doing the same for Floyd.
"I'm always going to be there for Leonard the way that my veteran guys were for me," Young said. "I think Floyd's a heck of a guy. I see a lot of upside in him. He's never been a threat to me. I'm excited about what he brings to the table."
See photos from day three of practice as players put pads on for the first time at training camp in Bourbonnais, IL.
Betting on himself:** Young was thrilled to sign a two-year extension. But the 30-year-old was just fine with playing out the final year of his contract and then hitting the open market.
"I'm always going to bet on myself," Young said. "At the end of the day, if there's one person that I can count on to bet on Willie Young, that's Willie Young and him and only him and himself.
"I was willing to do that. I wasn't expecting to be having a conversation with the GM about extending my contract. I really was not that concerned about it. I didn't even take out an insurance policy, and I was practicing the last two days. I wasn't concerned about it. Playing on the edge, man, I feel like what's going to happen is going to happen, you know? I decide my fate, so it's all on me."
A day at camp: Undrafted rookie receiver Kieren Duncan made the play of the day Saturday, diving to haul in a long pass in the end zone with two defenders on his back. ... Defensive end Akiem Hicks showed his athleticism and determination by chasing down running back Jeremy Langford on a screen pass and shouldering him to the ground. ... Rookie linebacker Nick Kwiatkowski exited Saturday's practice with a hamstring injury. ... Defensive back Kevin Peterson forced an incompletion by ripping the ball away from receiver Darrin Peterson.