The Chicago Bears returned to work on Wednesday, and welcomed the return of a pair of players to the practice field:
No sign of Kyle Long or Prince Amukamara at Bears practice. Jeremy Langford and Mark Sanchez are participating.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) August 16, 2017
Mark Sanchez sat the last two practices nursing an ankle injury, while Jeremy Langford has been missing in action for quite some time after injuring an ankle during a walk through earlier in training camp. In the words of urban music wordsmith Drake, a sprained ankle ain’t nothin’ to play with. And since we’re talking preseason, there isn’t much reason to rush back to practice and risk further injury.
Unfortunately, not seeing cornerback Prince Amukamara on the practice field is slightly disheartening.
As for other news in the Bears world:
- Getting hyped about the Mitch Trubisky era is fun, writes Danny Heifetz of The Ringer. Sure, expecting Trubisky to replicate his preseason Week 1 numbers each and every week is probably unrealistic … but it’s definitely fun. Dreaming on a quarterback prospect with mobility to escape a pass rush and arm strength to beat defenders down the field is what preseason is all about. And it’s only fair those daydreams become more vivid knowing Trubisky was the top quarterback taken in the draft, coupled with the fact that the player standing in his way projects to be about as average as it gets. While I encourage proceeding with caution, I can’t help but be enthusiastic about the great potential that awaits on the horizon.
- And while we’re hyping Trubisky, Jon Ledyard of FanRag Sports lists the rookie quarterback’s debut atop his list of the five preseason performances that mattered in Week 1. It’s worth noting Ledyard’s list features two other rookie quarterbacks and an edge rusher. That Trubisky topped them all says something about how impressive he was in his small preseason sample.
- Glennon’s disappointing effort in his preseason debut wasn’t the only thing that held back the Bears’ offense, but it’s the one that garners the most attention. ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson writes the team seeks better results from the entire first unit when it travels to Arizona to take on the Cardinals in their second preseason matchup. Glennon’s woeful performance and 0.0 quarterback rating aside, the Bears need to see improved production throughout the first group. While Tarik Cohen, Ka’Deem Carey, and Benny Cunninham broke off big gains for the second unit, Jordan Howard wasn’t able to get much going behind the Bears’ starting offensive line – a group that struggled in pass protection, too.
- To summarize: Glennon needs to improve on his 2-for-8 showing, Howard needs to put the four yards on three carries performance in the rearview mirror, and Cameron Meredith needs to get on the same page as his starting quarterback to make things happen vertically in the passing game. Thankfully, the Bears have three more preseason games to get it together. But it’s clear the offense is still a work in progress, and that’s despite Trubisky’s sensational preseason debut.
- Kyle Long, whose responsibilities include protecting Trubisky, Glennon, or whoever happens to be under center, is itching to get back in the lineup. Long has a lot going on this summer with moving from right guard to left, while simultaneously recovering from offseason ankle surgery. The three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman is balancing the need to gain the necessary number of practice reps to get into the flow while also making sure he is healthy to do so. He sat out of the Bears’ preseason opener, and could miss the entire preseason as he gets up to speed. In the end, it will be worth it if he can start the year healthy without having to take any preseason snaps.
- In search of optimism? Say no more. JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago writes that the Bears’ front seven should bring hope for the 2017 season. Entering the third year of the Vic Fangio experience, the Bears’ defense should see gains from its second-year draft picks (namely pass rusher Leonard Floyd, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, and defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard) and free agent signings (Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan). The Bears’ front seven didn’t rate highly last year and wasn’t projected among the best by Pro Football Focus to start the year, but GM Ryan Pace has accumulated impressive depth in an attempt to battle injuries, prevail against the war of attrition, and potentially hang tough with some of the game’s top offenses.
- Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo believes this is the year Alshon Jeffery needs to show the football world he belongs in the upper echelon of wideouts. Players change teams, but some things remain the same. Jeffery arrives in Philadelphia on a one-year “prove-it” deal as he attempts to re-establish his value after an underwhelming final year in Chicago. The 27-year-old receiver had two 1,000-yard seasons and a Pro Bowl appearance in two of his first three years, but inconsistency, injuries, and a PED suspension in the two years that have followed are among the things that give some pause. Jeffery has already missed time in training camp due to some nagging injuries, so we’ll be on the lookout to see if he can (once again) shake the injury bug.
- After watching two players suffer season-ending injuries in their preseason opener, the Detroit Lions have signed three free agents to compete in camp. Detroit signed offensive lineman Connor Bozick, tight end Andrew Price, and defensive end Giorgio Newberry. The Lions lost leading sack artist Kerry Hyder to an Achilles injury, as well as special teams standout Brandon Copeland, who was waived/injured in part to make room for the roster’s new players.