Senior safety Stefan McClure, who has been handled with kid gloves while coming back from spring surgery on his right quad, finally was out of his red jersey Tuesday at practice.
Still no contact, but coach Sonny Dykes said he expects McClure to get some live action early next week and is confident he could be ready to play Sept. 5 in the opener against Grambling State.
No doubt about it, McClure said.
“I’ll be ready for the first game,” he said. “If we had a game this weekend, I’d be ready to go.”
McClure said his quad feels great, but that he’s anxious to be freed up to practice full out.
“It is driving me crazy. I want to get back out there,” he said. “They’re still not letting me hit anybody – no contact. I’m doing everything that’s not live, so it’s good.”
Without McClure and Griffin Piatt – who is farther behind in his recovery from knee surgery – the Bears have experimented with a variety of players at safety. Quarterback Luke Rubenzer is getting first-team reps and Damariay Drew – back after a year away to resolve legal issues – was impressive early.
But Drew missed at least five straight practices and was wearing a red jersey Tuesday, limiting his activity. Dykes, who had been vague for several days about Drew’s situation, said, “We’re trying to limit his collisions right now. He’ll be fine.”
Sounded like code for a possible head injury.