Sources: Bears' Carimi misses first OTA
May, 13, 2013
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesGabe Carimi was the only Bear eligible to attend Monda's OTA who did not show.CHICAGO -- Former Chicago Bears first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi was a no-show at Halas Hall on Monday when the team took the field for the first organized team activity of the offseason, according to a source familiar with the situation.
He was the only one eligible to attend who did not, according to a source. Rookie first-round pick Kyle Long is among a handful of players who cannot participate in the remainder of the offseason program due to Oregon being on the quarter system and having final exams that run through June 14.
The only mandatory portion of the Bears' offseason program is the veteran minicamp in the middle of June, but the team typically has close to 100 percent participation in the organized team activities.
It was the first of 10 OTAs, and it's uncertain if Carimi will attend Tuesday.
According to multiple sources, Carimi hasn't been with the team since he participated in the club's voluntary three-day minicamp held from April 16-18. Following the conclusion of the minicamp, Carimi informed the Bears he planned to skip the second phase of the Bears' offseason program that included individual on-field work and positional meetings in favor of returning to Arizona to continue his offseason training.
Carimi felt working out in Arizona gave him the best opportunity to return to the field healthy and avoid the knee problems that have plagued him the last two years, a source said.
The No. 29 overall selection of the 2011 NFL Draft, Carimi suffered a knee injury in the second game of his rookie season that required multiple procedures and forced him to miss the majority of the offseason program the following spring. Carimi was on the field at the beginning of training camp last summer and did go on to start the first 10 games of 2012 at right tackle. But Carimi eventually lost his starting job to veteran Jonathan Scott and spent the final weeks of the regular season bouncing around from right guard back to right tackle before finishing the year on the bench in the regular season finale at Detroit.
Entering his third NFL season, Carimi faces an uphill battle to earn a roster spot after the Bears drafted guard Kyle Long in the first round (No. 20) and signed veteran guard Matt Slauson in free agency. Also in the mix are second-year guard James Brown and veteran guard/center Edwin Williams.