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Idonije makes it to workouts after long journey

Chicago defensive end returns from Nigeria for start of offseason program Brad Biggs

Print This March 29, 2010, 07:17 PM EST

The Chicago Bears were without two defensive ends on Monday when they opened their (voluntary) offseason conditioning program.

Alex Brown has been asked to stay away from Halas Hall as the team and his agent Joel Segal work to put together a trade for the veteran. Mark Anderson, who is projected to replace Brown in the starting lineup, wasn’t there for the beginning but will likely be showing up in the next few weeks. He is a restricted free agent and was tendered at the second-round level. He’s yet to sign that tender.

But Israel Idonije, a veteran who will be moved from tackle to end, made it to workouts on Monday, even if he was a little late. Idonije arrived in the early afternoon after traveling back from his home country of Nigeria where he was on a charity mission, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.

Idonije dropped 30 pounds last offseason for what was supposed to be a move to end. Instead, he was played at tackle all season. Last week, coach Lovie Smith announced at the owners meetings that Idonije would indeed play at end this season. He’ll be in a rotation with free-agent prize Julius Peppers and Anderson.

"I'll be ready to play whatever they need me to play,' Idonije said. "My motto has always been expect nothing, be ready for anything.'

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