Look who received the OK to play:
Tell a friend. pic.twitter.com/XbdkmV5zZx
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 29, 2018
The Chicago Bears have activated right guard Kyle Long off injured reserve, which brings the team’s offensive line to full strength for the first time in the second half of this season.
This move clears a path for Long to play in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Minnesota Vikings. After a week of full participation at practice, it’s possible Long could start on Sunday – even if his time is split in a platoon with Bryan Witzmann. Long hasn’t played since suffering a foot injury late in the fourth quarter in the team’s Week 8 win against the New York Jets, so it would make sense for the Bears to ease him back into the action and getting him caught up with playing speed without putting too much on his plate.
Bringing a three-time Pro Bowl lineman back into the fold is just what the doctor ordered for a running game that is only now starting to find its footing. In addition to Long’s on-the-field presence as a mauling run-blocker and steady pass-protector, the 30-year-old lineman brings a certain edge to the offense. Once he knocks off the rust, Long’s return should help solidify the offense. On top of that, Long being back in the lineup should also provide an additional rallying point heading into the postseason. Long is the Bears’ longest-tenured offensive player and has suffered through some of the organization’s leanest years. Should he make it through this week, he’ll be in line to start a playoff game for the first time in his career. That’s no small thing for a player with Long’s credentials.
In order to clear space for Long on the active roster, the Bears had to make one transaction:
#Bears roster update:
We have activated OL Kyle Long from IR to the active roster and have waived QB Tyler Bray.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 29, 2018
Bray joined the team for the Bears’ Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions, but was on the active roster for just two games. Buried on the depth chart behind Mitch Trubisky and Chase Daniel, a third quarterback was a luxury this team doesn’t necessarily need moving into January. But because he is a valued teammate who knows the ins-and-outs of Matt Nagy’s offense, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he returned to the Bears’ practice squad.
The playoffs are around the corner and the Bears are a little bit healthier today than they were yesterday. Let’s just get through this week with minimal (read: no) damage.