For the first time in nearly a month, D.J. Williams participated in Bears practice. Williams didn't fully participate, but stretched and did some running on the side, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago.
Williams' status for the season opener is still in question, but he is making progress in his return from a calf injury. He missed the majority of training camp and had not practiced since July 31. The regular season is nearly two weeks away, but Bears head coach Marc Trestman said he wasn't sure if Williams would be healthy enough to play.
"I couldn't answer that question," Trestman said, via ESPN Chicago. "Each and every day he gets a little better, and we'll know a lot more at the beginning of next week. He's got four or five days before our first day of practice on Monday. So we'll see how it is at that point in time. I can't answer the question other than there's improvement there. Talking to him, he's certainly positive that he can be ready. Players are always that way. They are, and they should be. We'll see. I'm encouraged, but we don't know at this time."
The Bears signed Williams to a one-year deal this offseason and he was initially expected to start at middle linebacker. Rookie Jon Bostic has started in his place during the preseason and played well. Both will likely see significant playing time once Williams returns. Williams has extra incentive to return in time for the regular season with $750,000 worth of roster bonuses based on being active.
According to ESPN Chicago, Williams will earn $23,437 every game he is on the 53-man roster and another $23,437 every game he's on the 46-man active gameday roster.