Kyle Long Is Inching Closer to Re-joining His Teammates at Practice Later This Week

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Kyle Long Is Inching Closer to Re-joining His Teammates at Practice Later This Week

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears running game appears to have found new life in recent weeks, but things could be looking that much better as soon as Kyle Long returns to the group. And even though Long was placed on injured reserve back in November, comeback season could start as early as later this week.

Reinforcements for the 2018 NFC North champions are coming in the form of the return of the team’s longest-tenured offensive lineman. And even though Long won’t practice today, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy hinted at the chance the team’s starting right guard could practice later in the week. HOORAY!

Long has been on injured reserve since November because of a foot injury and is an obvious candidate to be designated for return as early as next week when the team wraps up its regular season against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17. Despite being off the grid, the arrow has been pointing up for Long in recent days. He was on the sidelines with his teammates last Sunday, marking the first time he was able to do that since suffering the injury. Days before Sunday’s game, Long was seen out of his boot and was believed to be making progress toward a return. Long’s return has always been a realistic possibility, so seeing positive signs pointing toward Long’s potential return for a postseason run is encouraging to us. Now, imagine how much Long’s teammates will feel once he returns to the group.

Offensive lines thrive on continuity, but the Bears haven’t had that to this point. In fact, having Long join Charles Leno Jr., James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, and Bobby Massie would mark the first time this group has been healthy and playing a full share of the snap load for the first time since Week 8 – which is when Long suffered the late-game injury. Prior to Long going down, Jordan Howard carried the ball 22 times for 81 yards and Tarik Cohen tacked on 40 more yards on five rushes. We saw a brief glimpse of what the Bears running game could be just before it was taken away from us, so we can’t wait to see what a fully armed an operational offensive line can do to spring that talented duo.

The Bears injury report is scheduled to drop later in the afternoon. And while we know safety Eddie Jackson (ankle) and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (elbow) won’t practice today, we’re keeping our eyes open to see if anyone else is missing in action.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.