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Some familiar faces back to work

Posted Nov 6, 2017

The bye week was the perfect opportunity for players to get healthy.

All last week players preached the importance of the bye week to get guys healthy, and it looks like the time off has paid off.

Both Marcus Gilbert and Stephon Tuitt said they practiced on Monday, which was a bonus day for the team coming off the bye.

“The hamstring feels good,” said Gilbert. “It came at the right time. Unfortunately I had a setback, and the bye week was much needed. I took advantage of it. I went back home, got some treatment, saw my trainer, and I am feeling more confident. I am taking it slowly. I am going to gradually build up my reps during the week, and by the end of the week I should be fine and game time Sunday.”

Gilbert said he did “a little more than 50 percent” of the reps in practice on Monday, something that brought him much pleasure.

“I felt great today,” said Gilbert. “I feel really good, very confident.”

Gilbert was inactive for the Bears, Ravens and Jaguars game, but returned to play against the Chiefs. He left the game early, though, a result of the hamstring bothering him. He missed the Bengals and Lions games after that.

“I never had a hamstring injury before,” said Gilbert. “Dealing with it, I tried to rush myself back. I felt so good. I realized I wasn’t good, I tweaked it again. I tried to come back again, I didn’t handle it the right way.

“This isn’t a big guy injury, this is a small man’s injury. I got some advice from those guys and took the right steps to get myself back on the field.”

It’s been a frustrating season to date for Gilbert, who wants nothing more than to be on the field with his teammates.

“You have goals, personal goals and team goals, and you aren’t able to complete them being on the sideline,” said Gilbert. “The guys did a heck of a job. Chris Hubbard filled in at a high level. I just have to pick up where he left off.”

He isn’t alone in feeling that frustration. Tuitt suffered a biceps injury in the season-opener against Cleveland, then missed the next two games against Minnesota and Chicago. He returned for three games, but missed the Cincinnati and Detroit games with a back injury.

“I love to be on the field. I love to play,” said Tuitt. “You know I love to play. I just wasn’t able to go.”

Tuitt said the back injury flared up a few weeks ago when he was working out, and the key was not rushing back and risking further damage.

“I am a hard worker. I work hard,” said Tuitt. “I go so hard sometimes I have to calm down. I messed myself up working out.

“I wanted to get fully healed. I had a series of things that happened to me in the first few games. I didn’t want to rush back and cause any more damage. At the end of the day I was healing really well, but we have the second half of the season and that is when they need me most. We took the time to heal the injury and come back strong like I did today.”

Tuitt will keep an eye on how things progress this week, with his eye on hopefully returning to action Sunday against the Colts.  

“No restrictions, this is a go-week,” said Tuitt. “I am just going to go out there and see how it is. It felt great today. I came out there and ran full speed like I knew I could. My get-off was great.  It felt great to be back to myself again.

“I am blessed. If you watch what has been going on this season, a lot of people have been going down. I am blessed. Football is a physical game. I had a lot of snaps. It’s bound to happen. You get hit sooner or later. I got hit early in the season. I overcame those. There was down time. My teammates helped me. I am back stronger than ever.”