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Gabe Carimi reportedly skips Chicago Bears OTAs

Gabe Carimi's make-or-break year with the Chicago Bears is off to a curious start.

ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson reported Monday that the third-year pro was not in attendance for the Bears' first day of organized team activities.

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OTAs are optional, but the offensive lineman was the only eligible player who didn't attend Monday's workout.

It's unclear if Carimi will be at the Bears' facility Tuesday, though it appears that won't be the case. Carimi attended the three-day minicamp held April 16-18, but he reportedly told Bears officials he planned to sit out the next phase of team activities so he could continue his offseason training in Arizona.

Carimi has been plagued by knee trouble since being taken in the first round of the 2011 draft. A source told Dickerson that Carimi believes working out in Arizona gives him the best chance to get his knees sufficiently healthy.

Carimi is facing an uphill battle in Chicago. The Bears signed veteran guard Matt Slauson in free agency, then took guard Kyle Long with the 20th overall pick in last month's draft. Coming off a season in which he lost his starting job and bounced around the line, Carimi is firmly on the roster bubble.

We're sure Carimi has his reasons for staying in Arizona. Still, it's a sensitive time to slip off the grid.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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