Chicago Bears cornerback Kelvin Hayden on Sunday found himself back in a spot he became familiar with last year while playing for the Atlanta Falcons.

Nickel back D.J. Moore suffered a minor leg injury during practice and sat out while Hayden went to that spot. It's been difficult for Moore to get first-team time because Tim Jennings has had a strong camp, but with the level of competition high at cornerback it will be in Moore's best interest not to be out long because Hayden will be pushing for time.

Most teams don't have the luxury of a backup corner with experience at nickel, even if he wasn't considered valuable enough by the Falcons to bring back.

"The adjustment is things happen much faster there," Hayden said. "The receiver usually has a two-way 'go' inside, and there's a little bit more space. So it's a challenge, but I'm up for it."

Mean Mountain: No one is throwing his name into the ring as a potential starter yet, but backup tackle Cory Brandon has been getting some first-team snaps at right tackle to give rest to Gabe Carimi, who is coming off two knee surgeries. And Brandon has shown a surly side that line coach Mike Tice has yet to see in starting left tackle J'Marcus Webb and backup Chris Williams.

"It's all a part of the game," said Brandon, who is 6-7, 324.

Brandon got into a shoving match Saturday with safety Anthony Walters, and the next day Brandon and DT Nate Collins exchanged some pleasantries.

Brandon was with Tampa Bay but was picked up by the Bears off waivers.

"It just didn't work out," Brandon said of Tampa. "I don't know what they were thinking."

Double dip: The defense enjoyed the better of scrimmages, with safety Craig Steltz making INTs of both Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell. Steltz remains a valuable member of special teams, but his backup status has been largely due to being better stopping the run than the pass. "Great special-teams player, and when you're backup safety you need to be a four-phase special-teams player," coach Lovie Smith said about Steltz. "He does that. But we would be comfortable with him at the free or the strong [safety] position."

Sick bay: Linebacker Geno Hayes missed practice due to illness, and as a result J.T. Thomas got the snaps with the first team at strong-side linebacker. Smith saw getting Thomas more work with starters as a positive. "Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, guys like that, we know what they can do. It’s about developing that next group, and we are," he said. ... DT Brian Price suffered a neck stinger and missed practice time.

Ups and downs: Safety Chris Conte had a disappointing day by his standard. Known for not letting plays get behind him, he allowed Earl Bennett to get deep for a TD bomb, then in red-zone work stumbled in zone and didn't get over in time to prevent a TD pass to TE Kellen Davis. ... RB Matt Forte shook off some inactivity with a good workout during inside-run drills and also catching passes out of the backfield in scrimmage and seven-on-seven. He didn't play the first preseason game.

Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLCHI.