BOURBONNIS, Ill – Bears safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and tackle T.J. Clemmings practiced for the first time in training camp Tuesday after being activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Clinton-Dix sustained a sprained knee late in the offseason program. He signed with the Bears in March and is expected to start opposite Eddie Jackson at safety. The two have reunited in Chicago after playing one season together at Alabama.
Clinton-Dix joins the Bears after appearing in 80 games with 74 starts in five NFL seasons with the Packers (2014-18) and Redskins (2018). He has recorded 438 tackles, 28 pass breakups, 14 interceptions, 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, eight tackles-for-loss and eight quarterback hits. He has three additional interceptions in seven postseason contests.
The veteran safety was selected by the Packers with the 21st pick in the first round of the 2014 draft, seven slots after the Bears chose cornerback Kyle Fuller. The 6-1, 208-pounder remained with Green Bay until he was traded to the Redskins last Oct. 30 in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick.
Clinton-Dix has never missed a game during his five NFL seasons and has made 74 straight starts since joining the Packers’ No. 1 defense in Week 7 of his rookie year. His best season came in 2016 when he was voted to the Pro Bowl after registering a career-high five interceptions.
“He was a Pro Bowler in 2016, so he’s as good as he wants to be,” defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said during the offseason. “He’s got length. He’s got great instincts. He’s got ball skills. So everything you’re looking for in a safety because he can play down in the box and he can play in the deep parts of the zone. Then you can match him up and put him on backs and tight ends. So he’s got all the skill set necessary to do all those things.”
Clemmings signed with the Bears in late May. He’s returning from a knee injury he suffered last season while playing for the Raiders.
Clemmings has appeared in 41 NFL games with 32 starts over four seasons with the Vikings (2015-16), Redskins (2017) and Raiders (2018).
Selected by Minnesota in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Pittsburgh, Clemmings started all 16 games as a rookie at right tackle. He was part of an offensive line that helped Adrian Peterson lead the NFL in rushing with 1,485 yards.
Clemmings played in 15 games with 14 starts at left tackle for the Vikings in 2016, taking over the job after veteran Matt Kalil was placed on injured reserve Sept. 21.
Clemmings was waived by Minnesota during final cuts in 2017 and has been placed on injured reserve each of the last two seasons—with the Redskins in 2017 after playing in six games with two starts and with the Raiders last year after appearing in four contests.
With the Bears, Clemmings is expected to compete for the backup swing tackle position with Rashaad Coward and others behind starters Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie. Last year the role was filled by Bradley Sowell, who was moved from tackle to tight end during the offseason.