Bears Awaiting Details On Kyle Long's Injury

October 29, 2018 - 3:34 pm
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Walking out of the home locker room Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field, Zach Miller put his hand on the shoulder pad of injured Bears teammate Kyle Long and offered whatever encouragement he could.

Hope is all the Bears had Monday for a beloved teammate and key figure to their offensive line in Long, who was carted off late in the fourth quarter of a win against the Jets and unable to bear weight on his injured right foot. The team is still evaluating his status and awaiting further details from medical tests. The wait is already excruciating.

"I've seen what he went through and how hard he's worked to get to where he's at, all the stuff he's overcome," Miller said Monday. "I just feel for him because I know what he's put in. But I know how he is. I've seen him come back from all that, and I don't think it will be any different. As soon as he gets through this and hopefully he's on the mend soon and back helping us win football games."

Coach Matt Nagy expressed some hope that the Bears could get good news on Long's health. But Long also remains on crutches and with a protective walking boot on his injured right foot, and Nagy acknowledged there's a possibility this becomes a season-ending injury. It's not a reaggravation of the ankle injury that Long suffered in 2016, which included severe ligament damage and required surgery.

Long had played in 55 of 56 career games before having his right ankle rolled up during an early November game in 2016. It started a difficult trend of misfortune, which included 14 missed games and four different surgeries -- his ankle, wrist, shoulder and neck all needed repaired in the two years that followed. 

The Bears have seen Long battle his way back to health through a difficult offseason recovery and know what playing means to him. 

"Right now, we’re hoping that it’s good news," Nagy said. "But we won’t know here for a little bit. When we do find that out, then we’ve got to deal with either way. But for him, he’s just got to stay mentally strong as much as he can."

There's a contingency plan in place for the Bears. Eric Kush will return to practice this week after being sidelined due to stingers in his neck. He would assume Long's place at right guard, and rookie James Daniels would become the full-time starter at left guard after starting and playing his first full game Sunday in place of Kush. Daniels and Kush had previously been rotating at the position.

The Bears also signed a veteran in Bryan Witzmann earlier this month, adding depth that may now become more important without Long. 

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​