CHICAGO – As he was down on the ground cringing in pain, nearly 60,000 people were doing the same on Sunday at Soldier Field.
In an era of change for the Chicago Bears, he has been one of the constant faces of the franchise. A three-time Pro Bowl selection and a team leader, Kyle Long is one of the players that would figure to be at the forefront of the resurgence of the franchise.
So when he was down on the ground in pain, screaming loud enough that it could be heard from the sidelines, a feeling of dread kicked in just as the Bears were completing a 24-10 win over the Jets. Already major parts of the last two seasons had been lost to injury, and as he was carted off, there was the feeling that would be the case again.
“He’s already been through so much already and it sucks to see Kyle go down like that,” said fellow offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. of Long, who suffered a right foot injury when he was rolled up on at the end of a running play. “We don’t know the severity of it yet so we’re just trying to support him back there and give him some love because I know what he’s been through.”
As of Tuesday, there is still no word on Long’s injury of his status for the coming weeks, as the Bears remain in “wait-and-see” mode with the guard.
“For him to go through what he’s gone through the last couple of years with injuries, you feel for the guy,” said Nagy of Long. “Like I said, he’s been doing really well since our first day together in OTAs. He’s been a constant leader, he’s very engaged in meetings, he’s just really done things the right way. So right now, we’re hoping it’s good news.”
Injury problems weren’t apart of Long’s first three Pro Bowl years in the NFL, where he played in 47 out of a possible 48 contests for the Bears from 2013-2015. An ankle injury in November of 2016 cost him the last half of the season, and recovery from that along with other ailments kept him out of six games in 2017.
After a few offseason surgeries limited his participation in OTAs, Long was ready to go in training camp and has played in the first seven Bears games of the season. That’s what made the scene late in the fourth quarter hard for Bears’ fans and players to take.