The good vibes surrounding the Chicago Bears aren’t limited to the field. In fact, for the first time in a long time, the positive feelings that surround the team also include good news from the training room.
Matt Nagy says he's "cautiously optimistic" Kyle Long could play Sunday against Minnesota.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) December 24, 2018
Matt Nagy on Kyle Long: "Hopefully this week he can jump in and get better and better. … I think he’s in a good place right now and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some good practices this week."
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 26, 2018
Head Coach Matt Nagy continues to share a sense of cautious optimism regarding the return of right guard Kyle Long. The Bears have been without Long since the end of their Week 8 win against the New York Jets. Long went down with a foot injury that landed him on injured reserve, but didn’t knock him out for the season. Instead, the Bears designated Long for return last week and welcomed him back into the practice fold on Friday. The next step for Long is to stack some healthy practices ahead of Saturday, which is the earliest the Bears can add him to the active roster.
If activated this weekend, Long could play in Sunday’s regular season finale against the Minnesota Vikings. Long’s return would be welcomed with open arms by a Bears offense hoping to hit a new gear with the postseason rapidly approaching. The Bears offense hasn’t been consistent down the stretch and could use Long’s stabilizing presence on the offensive line. Where the team misses Long most is in the running game. In addition to bringing an edge on the field, Long’s ability to move defenders and clear space for ball carriers has been sorely missed in spurts.
Bringing back Long for Week 17 could help him get back into game speed without the pressure of having too much at stake. Sure, the Bears are playing for the No. 2 seed and Nagy continues to insist he will play his starters so long as that possibility is still on the table. But if a time comes where that isn’t in play, the Bears could use their final regular season game to see how much Long can help when the postseason kicks off a week later.