Chicago Bears tackle Gabe Carimi passed his first real test in a return from two knee surgeries by getting through two days of contact practices on the weekend without any physical problems.

The 2011 first-round pick came in not fearing there would be another problem, but knowing he would have to overcome some rust. He only started working with the team at the very end of OTAs, so training camp became the proving ground.

"I knew that it wasn't going to be exactly where I left off at," Carimi said, adding, "I don't think I'm that far off the mark where it will be pretty easy to get back."

The Bears like to think they have a dependable, solid right tackle and will move forward. Yet Carimi only played about six quarters as a rookie.

"Five and a half (quarters) probably," the Wisconsin product corrected, laughing a bit. "But I’m looking forward to going out this year and actually putting some work out there.”

Carimi's greatest strength is his run blocking and if there is an area he is proving he can start off immediately at a high level it's here. Running backs Matt Forte and Michael Bush have had some lanes during scrimmages, and Carimi has been a big part of it.

If anything happens to Carimi, the loser of the left tackle battle between Chris Williams and J'Marcus Webb would be a likely candidate for replacement, but for now the Bears are liking what they see from an undrafted player they have at this position with the backup line -- James Brown, a rookie from Troy who displayed good hands and quick feet blocking during pass rush drills and in much of the second-team scrimmage Sunday.

Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLCHI.