Bears encouraged by Allen Robinson's first OTA appearance

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Allen Robinson took part in individual drills at OTAs this week for the first time as a member of the Chicago Bears, but his new team won't rush its prized free-agent signee into duty in the offseason.

The wide receiver isn't expected to be a full participant in next week's mandatory minicamp as he works his way back from a torn ACL suffered on the third play of Jacksonville’s 2017 season opener at Houston.

“We’re just not there yet,” Bears first-year head coach Matt Nagy said. “I said it last week, there’s no need to rush the kid. He’s really going in the right direction. No reason right now for us to do anything more than let him continue to be positive, go at his own pace when he feels good, and then when we get to training camp be ready to go.”

The Bears expect Robinson to be cleared to practice without restrictions when training camp opens on July 19.

“I think one of the biggest things is that when you go through an injury like that, and I personally went through it myself, it can be an injury where physically you’re good to go and you feel really strong, but you still have to have the right mindset," Nagy said. "I know it felt good for the offense [for Robinson to be out there]. That was good.”

Chicago’s highest-profile offseason player acquisition, Robinson spent the first seven weeks of the Bears’ voluntary offseason program strictly doing rehabilitation work on the side.

The Bears signed Robinson, 24, to a three-year contract in free agency that guaranteed the wide receiver $25.2 million.

“He’s been working each and every day a little bit more, and now to get him in there in group install and let him do some things on air, I’m sure it felt a little bit different for him just to catch a ball from Mitchell Trubisky. That’s one step in the right direction,” Nagy said.

Robinson had a career-high 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Jaguars in 2015.

Although Robinson’s numbers dipped in 2016 (73-883-6) before he went on injured reserve for all but one game last year, the Bears envision Robinson being their No. 1 receiver.

“He’s well-rounded in the fact that he’s a big receiver that can run every route that’s out there, and especially in this offense he can do that,” Nagy said. “Then you get him in the red zone, he’s a guy that can go up and win 50/50 balls. The one thing that stood out to me breaking him down as a player with Jacksonville was for someone his size I thought he was really good at beating press, which you will see normally with bigger guys.”

The Bears also welcomed back former first-round pick Leonard Floyd, who’s recovering from his own knee injury.

Floyd, the ninth overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft, had been a spectator the entire offseason program after he underwent right knee surgery to repair an MCL/PCL injury last November, but Floyd recently returned to practice, and even took reps in a full-team drill at Wednesday’s OTA.

“Obviously Leonard just started practicing this week where we're allowing him to do some 7-on-7 drills,” Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “We expect him to be full speed and ready to go at training camp.”

Floyd’s biggest issue is durability. The outside linebacker possesses elite speed for the position (11.5 sacks in two years), but he has missed a combined eight games due to injuries.

“Well, [all the missed time] has [delayed Floyd’s development],” Fangio said. “I think it delayed his development more last year when it happened and he missed the last whatever four or five games it was. But it has. There’s no way around that. Everybody needs as many reps in practice as they can get. He’s really anxious to do it. He’s been begging the trainers and medical people to let him out there a little earlier. But I think he’ll overcome it.”