The Chicago Bears have started to report for training camp. Get pumped!
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 26, 2017
Seriously, it’s OK to be excited. Let it all out.
For the first time since offseason training activities ended in June, the band is getting back together with veterans rolling into camp with the first practices getting underway on Thursday.
As a reminder, you’re going to need tickets to attend camp practices that are open to the public. We’ll see you out there soon enough.
- Injury updates will be among the biggest items to come out of the first day of camp. There were 19 Bears who ended the 2016 season on injured reserve, and a handful of players whose injuries have lingered into the start of the 2017 NFL calendar year. There are some impact players still on the mend – such as left guard (remember, he’s making the switch starting this summer) Kyle Long, who’s recovering from offseason ankle surgery – and linebacker Danny Trevathan, who could start the year on the PUP list because of his knee injury. Last year’s leading receiver Cameron Meredith is working his way back from summer thumb surgery as well, while running back Jeremy Langford and offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu are two players who were drafted in 2015 with injury statuses worth watching. Just when you thought the Bears couldn’t be more stricken by the injury bug, 2017 starts off with similar concerns.
- “Who’s healthy?” is the first question asked by Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, who presents five questions for the team as camp begins. Tell me who’s healthy, and I think we’ll be able to answer questions about if the team can get off to a fast start and create takeaways. Those are just two key factors in what could help us figure out what will constitute a successful season for the Bears in 2017.
- It’s worth pointing out that nearly half the players who are on Kevin Fishbain’s list of 20 most important Bears via Pro Football Weekly enter camp with some sort of injury issue or missed multiple games due to injuries last year. This serves as a reminder of how fragile a football team’s upside can be. The Bears could be a pleasant surprise in 2017, but a lot has to go right for the them to reach their ceiling. However, it will be less-than-likely for them to do so if multiple key players go down with injuries because the team hasn’t built up that much depth across the board just yet.
- Over at the Chicago Bears’ official website, Larry Mayer puts together a list of players to watch for on offense … and defense in 2017. Everyone will be keeping a close eye on quarterbacks, but Kevin White and Kyle Long (two players coming off season-ending injuries) are worth watching because their success will help lead the quarterbacks to success. Defensively, Leonard Floyd – who missed time with calf problems and concussions last year – is the guy who could make the biggest leap this season. And for him, it all starts with having a positive training camp experience.
- The New York Times has details of the latest study in which a neuropathologist examined the brains of 111 NFL players and found that 110 had the degenerative disease that is believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head. Every position on the field is impacted and represented in this study, with the most notable being that the study revealed that 44 of the players who had CTE were linemen. This is troubling news to read as those are the players are making strong, head-first contact on each and every play. You can check out the findings of Dr. Ann McKee here. 111 brains of NFL players
- What are the keys to success? Let the several key players on the Bears tell the story: