Football: Manpower shortage on D-line could cause Bears to shuffle practice schedule

The Bears plan to venture back into Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon for their second workout of the day.

But a scheduled scrimmage on Monday may be postponed because there still aren’t enough fully healthy defensive linemen.

“If we can’t get quality out of it, there’s really no use doing it,” coach Jeff Tedford said after practice Friday morning. “If we’re too banged up . . . we just have to see how people¬†(are) healing up.”

In recent days, defensive linemen Deandre Coleman (foot), Mustafa Jalil (knee), Viliami Moala (head) and Puka Lopa (foot) all have been sidelined by what Tedford has described, in general terms, as minor injuries.

Tedford believes everyone will be up and healthy well in advance of the Bears’ Sept. 1 opener vs. Nevada. And he isn’t terribly concerned that he’s not seeing some of his primary D-lineman in practice right now.

“We have enough confidence and experience in the guys who are going to be in it — they played a lot last year,” he said. “We know what they can do. It’s just a matter of making sure they’re in shape, they’re physically healthy and they can do the things we ask them to do.”

Still, over the next week or so, the Bears will do more “pod” work — 2 on 2, 1 on 1 — to minimize the chance of incurring further injuries.

And Tedford may re-work next week’s practice schedule to address the current personnel situation.

“We just to see what do we still need to get done and what we can do,” he said.

— The offensive line picture, by comparison, is beginning to come into focus. Tedford said if the Bears played Saturday, that sophomore¬†Chris Adcock would start at right guard — the only spot seemingly up for grabs.

He would join right tackle Matt Summers-Gavin, center Brian Schwenke, left guard Jordan Rigsbee and left tackle Tyler Rigsbee to form the starting unit.

Among those still in the hunt for spots in an eight- or nine-player O-line rotation: Geoffrey Gibson, Bill Tyndall and freshmen Matt Cochran and Steven Moore.

Freshman Freddie Tagaloa, the 6-foot-9, 340-pounder from Salesian HS, is trying to insert himself into the equation.

“We’re still waiting to see. He does some good things, but he’s got to get used to speed of the game,” Tedford said. “But he’s working hard at it.”

— When the Bears do get back into Memorial Stadium — possibly Saturday — Tedford hopes to have the facility’s video display boards operating to remove the game-day temptation to focus on replays rather than the next play.

“So I can say, `OK, everybody stop and take a look, that’s what it looks like,’ so in a game you don’t need to stop and look,” Tedford said.

Jeff Faraudo