The Chicago Bears are thinking big picture when it comes to Kyle Long’s health, which means there will be days in which the three-time Pro Bowl lineman will sit out practice.
Wednesday was one of those days as Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune tweeted Long was one five Bears players who did not practice. And while it’s easy to default to alarmed whenever Long shows up on an injury report, it doesn’t seem like there is much to worry about regarding his long-term status:
#Bears coach John Fox on Kyle Long: "The key for him is getting to Sunday."
— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) October 25, 2017
As long as the ankle injury lingers, the Bears will likely play it cautiously with their starting right guard – as they should, considering his performance (he’s Pro Football Focus’ 21st ranked guard) and importance to the offensive line.
And after back-to-back wins in which the Bears have deployed a run-heavy offensive attack, Long and the rest of his teammates along the line will be tasked (once again) with clearing many holes for running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. It’s worth stating the obvious, but the Bears can ill-afford to lose Long for an extended period of time. Ensuring his health for game day is a top priority.
Joining Long (ankle) on the list of Bears who did not participate in practice today were receiver Markus Wheaton (groin), cornerback Sherrick McManis (hamstring), linebacker John Timu (ankle), and defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris (hamstring). Robertson-Harris is the newest addition to the injury report after suffering an injury while covering a kick in Sunday’s win against the Carolina Panthers.