Bears might not open camp this week if lockout ends

CHICAGO -- Two people familiar with the situation say the Chicago Bears won't report to training camp this week even if there is a new labor agreement because they need more time to prepare.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.

The Bears planned to report to camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., on Friday and hold their first practice the following day. That's about a week earlier than most teams because they're scheduled to play St. Louis in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 7.

The Bears must give Olivet Nazarene 24 hours' notice and need a few days to fill out rosters by signing draft picks, along with undrafted rookies and conventional free agents.

One person said if owners ratify a deal at their special meeting in Atlanta on Thursday, the Bears could report the following Tuesday or Wednesday, if the Hall of Fame game is still on. If the deal is ratified and the game is canceled, they would start camp around the 29th.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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