The Chicago Bears released their Friday injury report and if you were hoping for some sort of miracle regarding the status of safety Eddie Jackson, I hope you’re sitting down for this:
#Bears Friday Injury Report:
DNP: Jackson (ankle); Lynch (elbow)
Limited: Nichols (knee)
Full: Hicks (illness)
Game status: Jackson, Lynch (doubtful); Nichols (questionable)
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 21, 2018
Jackson, as well as linebacker Aaron Lynch, did not practice on Friday. It is the third straight practice both players have missed since suffering injuries in the Bears’ NFC North clinching win against the Green Bay Packers in Week 15. Not practicing in the days leading up to Sunday’s showdown against the San Francisco 49ers has Jackson and Lynch listed as doubtful to play. But because they haven’t practiced at all, it’s safe to guess neither will suit up for action.
The Bears being without a safety with Jackson’s Pro Bowl credentials is a bummer. And internally, I would have loved the potential to write about a Lynch revenge game in his return to San Francisco. But knowing what’s at stake in January with a playoff run on the horizon, the health and availability of both players is the highest priority moving forward.
But at least news on the health front isn’t all bad:
For the first time since injuring his foot against the Jets on Oct. 28, Kyle Long practiced today.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 21, 2018
Right guard Kyle Long practiced on Friday. It was his first football action since landing on injured reserve in early November because of a foot injury he suffered late in the fourth quarter in the Bears’ Week 8 win against the New York Jets. Earlier in the week, Head Coach Matt Nagy hinted at Long’s potential return to practice. Despite being placed on injured reserve, Long’s return has always been a realistic possibility that was only starting to be realized fully last week when he was without the boot he had on since late October.
The up-and-down Bears rushing attack looked like it was on the verge of breaking through in Week 8, but Long’s injury set things back as the team had to resort to backup plans to fill his void on the roster.
Long can’t be activated until December 29, but that would put him in play to get back onto the field for the team’s Week 17 regular season finale against the Minnesota Vikings (and obviously anything that follows). How much he would/could play in that game is still up in the air. After all, we’re talking about a player who is having his first practice since suffering a pretty serious foot injury. But still … it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Long could join the starting lineup in January when the Bears make their postseason return.
With that being said, a little extra rest wouldn’t hurt Long or any of his other teammates nursing injuries. So perhaps it would be a good idea to win out and hope the Rams lose one of their next two.