It’s been a rough few years for Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long, so the team is understandably taking his return to the field slowly.
And, sure, I understand if you’re hesitant to feel good about a player who’s missed 14 of the team’s last 32 games. But try to let Matt Nagy ease some of your concerns: “At some point, we will get him out there,” Nagy said during his Wednesday press conference with the assembled media at Halas Hall. “For him, he’s been doing really well. He’s been honing in on the details of the job on the offensive line. As soon as we all agree, he will be up and going.”
Alright, so these aren’t the most reassuring comments in the world, but they’re not terrible either. In fact, it sure sounds like progress is being made, and remember: it’s only May 17. There’s still a bunch of time between now and when games of significance start taking place. Which means there is absolutely no reason to rush anyone coming off an injury, especially someone as important as Long figures to be.
Indeed, once fully healthy, Long figures to slot into a familiar position in the starting lineup as the team’s right guard. “No one on this team is locked into any position, but I would say he is about as close as it gets,” Nagy said.
While it would be wonderful if Long were already hitting the practice field with fury at the start of OTAs, I, for one, am glad they’re taking it slowly. After all, this is a guy who’s played through five different injuries and had multiple offseason surgeries (which we’ve discussed here, here, and here) playing the game. That’s tough. Playing it slow isn’t just the safe move, it’s the smart.
And, hey, a healthy year for the Long likely means a means a good year for the line. And that, in turn, could set the table for the offense, which is expecting big years for guys like QB Mitch Trubisky, RB Jordan Howard, and others.