The Bears boast Pro Bowl talents on the interior of the offensive line in Long, Sitton and center Cody Whitehair. Regardless of how the order shuffles out, the trio should be the strength of the offense, while the offensive tackle spots, receiver depth, quarterback position and backup running back rotation remain questions for John Fox.
Long said Friday that his health is improving, but stopped short of pronouncing himself fit to play in Week 2. Long hasn’t played in a game since he suffered a gruesome ankle injury last November — coincidently, against the Bucs in Tampa — that required surgery and months of rehabilitation.
Long tore his labrum last month and practiced this past week in a limited fashion for the first time in three weeks. The injury is expected to impact Long’s performance this season, where it will be more difficult for him to rely on his strength.
“I just know what this city’s like when the Bears win,” Long said. “And I had a taste of it my rookie year and I sniffed the playoffs and we lost by a close margin there. I want to get back to that. I want to go to the playoffs. I want to have 10 wins before we get to the playoffs and have an opportunity to have home-field advantage.
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Long had some fun with the news of his latest position switch. Kyle Long also echoed his brother’s sentiment that their hometown should not be associated with the those participating in the hate rallies.
“We want these scholarships to be reflective of what the ‘Cville’ community is really about — supporting one another, social equality and building up those in our community who need it,” Long said. “We hope our investment will change the lives of the students who receive the scholarship and in turn, those students can positively impact others.”
Cornerback and return man Marcus Sherels has not practiced all week with a wrist injury but is listed as questionable. Cordarrelle Patterson is also questionable with a concussion.
So, while Bears coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains ducked questions on Friday about Miami’s reported interest in Cutler, Long happily discussed the prospects of the Dolphins luring the 34-year-old quarterback out of retirement.
Ideally, the Bears begin the regular season with Long at left guard, Whitehair at center and jerseys cheap and veteran Josh Sitton at right guard. But Chicago is clearly lining up its contingency plan.
As for the fight in practice, Butler and Jeffery were jawing at each other in the end zone. Jeffery grasped Butler’s face mask, and Butler appeared to take a few swipes at Jeffery.
The Bears announced late Saturday afternoon that Long did not accompany the team on their charter flight to Tampa, Florida. Let me finish. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on bottle service and all the stuff you see on Ballers, I’d rather hang out with my friends and have fun.
Long continues to rehab from an ankle injury suffered last November, complicating the position switch. The 28-year-old hasn’t played left guard since college, but the move shouldn’t be a problem for the talented, athletic offensive lineman. Sitton started his first four years in Green Bay at right guard.
“He had some treatment,” Bears coach John Fox said. “The doctor that did his surgery was in the area. It was actually pretty convenient. We actually planned it about a week ago. So, it just timed that way. It went well. We held him back today. The treatment they did usually requires 24 hours off but he feels a lot better and we’re excited to get him going again.”
Player fights, so long as they don’t cause a needless injury, are one of the most overplayed aspects of training camp. People are hot, uncomfortable and angry; constantly switching from study mode to hitting mode to agility mode and sometimes it all spirals into some regrettable decisions.