For the second straight week, Khalil Mack practiced on a limited basis Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday and is listed as questionable on the injury report.
The All-Pro outside linebacker ultimately played in last weekend's game against the Patriots and the Bears are hoping that he'll be able to suit up again Sunday versus the Jets. Just like last week, Mack will be monitored right up until kickoff.
"It'll be the same thing," coach Matt Nagy said early Friday afternoon. "We'll be taking this thing literally day-by-day. We'll talk to him later on today. We'll talk to him tomorrow and just see exactly where he's at, how he feels.
"I think time is the biggest thing right now. When you talk to Khalil throughout this process, you've got to know: 'Hey, was it a good day? Was it a bad day? What are you doing? Can we do more? Is there more rehab that's needed? Is there less rehab that's needed?' Trust me when I tell you, it is day-to-day. I mean that."
Nagy told reporters that the ankle injury Mack sustained Oct. 14 in Miami is feeling "very similar" to how it did at the same point last week.
"We just want to make sure we're doing everything we possibly can to make sure that there are no setbacks," Nagy said. "We want to try to improve it as much as we can. You know how it goes with injuries; sometimes there are good days, sometimes there are bad days. That's kind of where we're at right now, just making sure that he's doing everything that he can to get that thing back to 100 percent."
Mack has never missed a game in five NFL seasons. But the decision about whether he plays Sunday will be a group effort.
"Our players, regardless of who they are, they'll always have input," Nagy said. "But we're always going to make sure that it's together that we do it. On our end, we have trainers and doctors and everybody that are professionals in that area to make sure that everybody understands what's the most important thing for the player and then you take into consideration for the team. And then the coaches and Ryan [Pace], the general manager, gets involved. We talk through it: 'What's the best thing for the player and the team collectively?'"
Just like Mack, receiver Allen Robinson II (groin) returned to practice on a limited basis Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday. Robinson started against the Patriots last Sunday but exited in the second half due to his injury after being limited to one reception for four yards.
"Allen is a day-to-day player for us right now, too," Nagy said. "He had the groin and he ended up kind of feeling it towards the end of the game and we want to make sure we're smart in how we handle the situation.
"If he talks to us as we go here in the next 48 hours and he said, 'Hey, it feels good,' and we feel like our doctors and trainers feel that way, then we'll roll. But if it's something where he feels like, 'I just don't know' or there's some questions there where it's gray, now we have to discuss is it worth putting him out there."
When Robinson exited against the Patriots, he was replaced by veteran Joshua Bellamy, who was targeted four times but not did catch a pass.
"Josh is a player that's savvy," Nagy said. "He understands where to be at within the concept. He has a little bit of an advantage with our offense in the fact that we were in Kansas City together for a short period, so he has a little bit of that. But he's smart and he's reliable. He can play multiple positions and not every receiver can do that. He can do that, so that gives us an advantage when he's in there. He's been having a good week of practice and I like where he's at."
In other injury news, veteran left guard Eric Kush has been ruled out of Sunday's game with a neck injury. Rookie second-round pick James Daniels, who has split time with Kush the past three games, is expected to make his first NFL start.
"I think the game's slowing down for him," Nagy said. "He's a rookie, so you know there's going to be some errors assignment-wise and communication-wise because he hasn't been doing it a whole lot with the other guys. But for as young as he is, he's pretty strong. He listens to [offensive line coach] Harry [Hiestand] on what the technique is and there's times where he'll get beat and he recovers really well. I think that's one of his biggest strengths, is if he does lose leverage he regains it really well."