Bears tight end Adam Shaheen, who is expected to practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering foot and ankle injuries in August, described his rehab in three words.
"Long, slow and painful," said Shaheen, a 2017 second-round draft pick. "But this is the next step, just get out there and start running around with the guys."
Shaheen is ecstatic to be out of the walking boot that he wore for seven weeks. During that time the 6-5, 270-pounder often could be seen zipping inside and outside Halas Hall on a medical scooter. Shaheen concedes a few times that he was admonished by members of the training staff to slow down. "I was flying in it," he said. "I had that thing for a month. Thank God because crutches weren't the answer."
During his absence, Shaheen continued to attend team and position meetings and study his playbook: "Just keeping my mind in it while I couldn't do it physically."
Shaheen has enjoyed watching the offense excel this season.
"I love the energy," he said. "It's been night-and-day from last year. I'm excited to join it. I obviously wish I could have been out there, but it is what it is. I'm excited that I'll get a chance to play the back half of the season."
Shaheen has especially liked what he's seen from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who has completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,949 yards with 16 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 96.7 passer rating in eight games.
"It's been great really seeing him take his game up to another level," Shaheen said.
That's something that Shaheen appeared well on his way to accomplishing this summer before he was injured Aug. 18 in a preseason game in Denver.
Shaheen, who caught 12 passes for 127 yards and a team-leading three touchdowns last season, is eager to return to game action. But at this point he isn't sure whether he'll be able to play Sunday when the Bears host the Lions.
"We'll see," Shaheen said. "It's day-to-day. This is the first time out there practicing, so we'll see how it really goes and keep going from there."