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Pernell McPhee returns to practice

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Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For the first time this year, Chicago Bears outside linebacker Pernell McPhee practiced.

McPhee had a strong start to the 2015 season with 5 sacks in the team’s first 6 games, but then a bothersome knee injury crept up that limited his play in the 2nd half of last season.

McPhee wasn’t able to recover quick enough from offseason knee surgery so his timetable kept being pushed back, and back, and back, until the team finally decided to place him on the physically unable to perform list. He’s not eligible to play this Sunday against the Jaguars and his window of activation technically opens after week six.

Since the Bears play the Packers on Thursday Night, McPhee was able to get going today, a full 7 days before their week seven prime time match-up in Green Bay.

The odds of McPhee being conditioned enough to go on Thursday night are slim, but even if he’s able to play just a handful of snaps, his presence could give Chicago’s D a violent boost.

Today McPhee mostly did drills and scout team work, but head coach John Fox said, “all in all, it was a positive day for him.”

The Bears do expect him back at some point, but Fox didn’t get specific.

“We’re going to have to be smart on how we manage his reps, both on the practice field in preparation as well as in games,” Fox said. “I think we’re just kind of starting that procedure now. It’s been a while. I think his surgery was like 39 weeks ago or something of that nature, so it’s been a while. We’ll definitely be cautious moving forward.”

We’ll have the full Bears vs Jags injury report up shortly.