The Bears did their most extensive hitting of camp to date Saturday during a controlled scrimmage, but did it without possibly their top three pass targets.
Allen Robinson missed Saturday's practice with an ankle injury suffered in Friday's practice, and the defense was without Akiem Hicks for the second straight day due to a quad injury.
Those weren't the only injuries. Swing tackle Jason Spriggs went to the sideline with assistance, and then was carted off the field due to a right knee injury.
Tight end Jimmy Graham and Anthony Miller were both given what amounts to a "veteran's day off." Miller is coming off shoulder surgery.
As a result, Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles worked the ball to players who haven't had as many touches in earlier practices.
Trubisky pin-pointed one deep throw over the middle to tight end Jesper Horsted on the run, a play that had Matt Nagy excited afterward.
Nick Foles hit Ted Ginn Jr. with a nice anticipatory play near the sideline on a day when both quarterbacks had high moments and then threw interceptions.
Not all of the scrimmage was live. Some was "thudding up" and some live.
"A couple of times the defense got through, but I thought the O-line did a good job," Nagy said. "The run game looked good, too.
"And then defensively I thought you felt the speed on defense really with all three of our groups—I should say two and a half groups—flying around. They didn't look like they were playing slow."
The injury to Spriggs could be a difficult blow, if serious. It might require second-year guard Alex Bars move to tackle because the other backup tackle is rookie seventh-round pick Lachavious Simmons. There are other options, as well.
Gaurd Rashaad Coward is battling for a starting spot with Germain Ifedi, but Coward initially was a tackle before the Bears moved him to guard last year in desparation.
The running backs received their most work to date on Saturday but the passing game is always at the forefront of Nagy's mind, and the deep throw by Trubisky to Horsted really had his attention.
"I don't say a whole lot when I'm back there watching the O and D go," Nagy said of the scrimmage. "I like to just kind of take it all in. But that was one where I got excited and told him I just thought it was a hell of a throw.
"Great vision, great anticipation and you give a guy a chance to catch the ball and run that's all you can ask for. So that was a great play."
Foles threw a pick to Eddie Jackson deep and Trubisky had one to Michael Joseph.
"I thought they both did a good job moving in the pocket, seeing the defense," Nagy said. "It's a little hard for the defense just because we're not live for the (first team), and so they realize there's a major halo for those quarterbacks and they're not allowed to get touched or I freak out. So they try to do their best to stay away from them. And so it's not as realistic as it would be in a game."
The scrimmaging is part of Nagy's plan to make up for no preseason games and the contact part of the thought they need to "callous" players for the opener.
"Being calloused is certainly something that we talked about we have to have," Nagy said. "We have to be mentally tough and we’ve got to be physically tough. You've got to be smart when you’re doing the physical stuff. Today was a start. Next week will be another challenge for us where we might sprinkle a little live in there again and certainly have some longer type practices. But we're going to keep a pulse on these guys."