Kyle Long nears a return to the practice field for the Bears

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: Kyle Long #75 of the Chicago Bears in action during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field on September 30, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears won 48-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

LAKE FOREST – It’s a shame, really, that he wasn’t able to be on the field in full uniform for the full moment.

After all, Kyle Long has been with the Bears since the 2013 season, and only Sherrick McManis has been on the roster longer. That’s a lot of lean years of Bears’ football in which the talented offensive lineman has been the bright spot of a few sub-par teams.

A chance to be on the field disappeared when Long injured his foot against the Jets on October 28th, landing on injured reserve for a third-straight year.

Yet as the playoffs approach, quite a positive story is developing with the guard, and it could lead to him being back on the field for the playoffs.

After getting out of his walking boot last week and walking around Bears’ practice at Halas Hall, head coach Matt Nagy said on Wednesday that Long could return to practice this week as the Bears prepare for the 49ers

By no means is he expected to play Sunday, but it opens the possibility of a return this season rather than the Fall of 2019.

Long, who’s missed 21 games the last three years due to a variety of issues, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection who was a strong part of the middle of the Bears’ line along with an on-field emotional leader. No doubt the Bears could use Long’s ability in the middle of the line come the playoffs, and certainly, Mitchell Trubisky would appreciate him blocking for him come January.

“I think it would be big .We know how good of a player Kyle is,” said Trubisky of the guard. “Kyle is an incredible ‘O’ lineman and just his leadership, and everything he brings to the table. As far as that goes, it would be huge for this offense so we’ll see if he’s ready.

“I know he’s eager to get back out there and we’re gonna be happy to have him when he’s ready for that time. I think it will make the offense that much better.”

Plus it would give one of the original foundations of this team a chance to enjoy a well earned trip to the postseason.

 

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