The Bears received a status update on Kyle Long’s foot injury suffered against the Jets on Tuesday and the news isn’t great. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the 29-year-old will miss the next 6-8 weeks as he recovers. While there was no official indication that Long’s injury was season-ending, it’s a likely safe assumption to assume we won’t see the guard for the rest of the regular season. Any injuries to Long’s lower body at this stage of his career can’t bode well.
Long had returned to full health in 2018 after missing 15 of his last 32 starts in the previous two seasons due to ankle, shoulder, and neck issues. His latest foot injury is not related to the ankle he’s had multiple surgeries on, as confirmed by Matt Nagy on Monday. The veteran was set to be a key cog for an offense on the rise. While he wasn’t up to his previous high standards of play, Long had featured relatively well up until this point and his loss is a big blow to a Bears offensive line that started to gel under coach Harry Hiestand.
With Long out for the foreseeable future, provided he’s healthy soon, expect Eric Kush to slide in at right guard while rookie James Daniels settles in on the left side. The days of this duo rotating are firmly over as the Bears’ interior offensive line depth is all of a sudden incredibly precarious. It’ll be on Hiestand and company to rally well and keep the offensive ship together as the Bears soon enter a stretch where they’ll face eight straight NFC conference opponents, including five games against the NFC North.
If the Bears want to see Long again this season, they’ll likely have to make the playoffs. A lofty goal, and one that is certainly attainable.
Robert is the Editor-in-chief of The Blitz Network (subscribe here!), the managing editor of Windy City Gridiron, and writes for a host of other fine publications. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.