LAKE FOREST – On Tuesday came the demand for a trade from the linebacker. On Wednesday, the Bears took him off the PUP list, meaning that he was medically cleared and expected to practice Thursday.

So many were watching closely at Halas Hall to see if Roquan Smith would indeed take the field or chose to remain out of workouts as he negotiates a new contract.

In the end, the linebacker didn’t take part in practice ahead of the team’s first preseason game against the Chiefs on Saturday at Soldier Field as he starts what looks like a “hold-in” of training camp.

“He was cleared by our medical staff as healthy and he did not practice,” said Matt Eberflus in his news conference late Thursday morning.

While many assume why he didn’t take part, the head coach wasn’t going to speculate.

“The reason for that is you’ll have to ask him,” said Eberflus. “So we expect all of our healthy players to practice and that was his decision and, like I said, you’ll have to ask him.”

This marks the latest chapter in the contract drama with the fifth-year linebacker that started before training camp began. Smith was put on the PUP list when he arrived at training camp amid rumors that he would “hold-in” while waiting for a new contract.

As the linebacker would stand on the sidelines at practice with an undisclosed injury, negotiations continued with general manager Ryan Poles. Yet no deal has been reached, and the chatter heated up when Smith made his trade demand just before the team’s annual Fan Fest practice at Soldier Field.

Poles and the Bears then had the next move 24 hours later when they activated the linebacker off the PUP list, meaning he would be expected to take the field for practice. He did not.

Eberflus didn’t get into the discipline that Smith could face for not practicing, instead deferring to Poles and the front office. Meanwhile, he’ll carry on his preps for the 2022 season

“You go about your business. Look, I said you treat everyone with respect. You coach on the grass, what we’re expecting out of the guys in the meetings and on the grass, and you look at execution,” said Eberflus. “To me, it’s about being respectful to everybody in the building. Do I certainly know what Roquan is going through? I don’t know, I’m not in his chair, I don’t know that.

“You never put yourself in another man’s shoes. So his perspective may be something different. That’s where he is and I’m gonna be respectful of that.”