The good news regarding Leonard Floyd continues to roll in.
Last week, Floyd practiced at full speed during the final week of mandatory minicamp. And soon, it will be all-systems-go for Floyd when he joins his teammates in Bourbonnais for training camp: “I got the chance to go full speed for the first time, and then with training camp coming around, I’ll be full-go with everything,” Floyd said, via the Chicago Bears’ official website. “I’m ready to get to training camp, put the pads on and see what I do.”
If you feel like you’ve heard this before, it’s because you probably heard something similar regarding another Bears playing making his return after a season-ending injury. Head Coach Matt Nagy said guard Kyle Long is expected to be a full-go at training camp in July. Long is recovering from a variety of ailments and multiple offseason surgeries. Once Long is ready to go, he’ll slide in as the team’s starting right guard.
As for Floyd, the Bears weren’t concerned about him missing minicamp when he was rehabbing from season-ending knee surgery. Head Coach Matt Nagy made note of Floyd’s eagerness to get back on the practice field during OTAs, and by the end of May, Floyd was on the practice field for the first time in 2018. It’s a great sign that the arrow is pointing in the right direction as far as Floyd’s return is concerned, but we should point out that Floyd is still getting into the swing of things as practice is concerned. So to be fair, it might be too early to tell how much of an immediate impact he can make coming off a pretty serious knee injury.
Floyd’s return to the lineup is critical for a Bears defense that finished in the top-10 in scoring and yards last season, but has aspirations to be even better in 2018. Because even if Floyd is a full-go, the rotation of pass-rushers on the other side of the formation doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Free agent addition Aaron Lynch has suffered two minor injuries during the offseason training program and Kylie Fitts is a rookie sixth-round pick who has his own injury history he’ll need to overcome before he can grow into a potential impact player. Sam Acho was a steady run defender, but wasn’t much of a threat to disrupt the quarterback. Isaiah Irving hopes to be better in 2018, but is still too inexperienced to bank on right now. That leaves Floyd to do a bunch of the heavy lifting when it comes to getting to the passer. And while there is a belief that Floyd is primed for a breakout season, he still has things he needs to prove as he goes about establishing himself as a reliable pro.