Bears’ Leonard Floyd Back To Form After Frightening Concussion Battle

By Chris Emma–

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd joked Wednesday that he was surprised when his weight wasn’t the first question to field from a scrum of reporters.

Now preparing for his second NFL season, Floyd said he’s in excellent shape and is eager to attack the season. He has bulked up and believes he can be more explosive off the edge of the Bears’ defense.

“It’s like night and day compared to last year,” Floyd told reporters at Halas Hall.

Availability was a concern at times for Floyd, who missed four games in 2016. He finished third among rookies in sacks with 7.0, but that came with issues. Floyd battled with conditioning during training camp and wasn’t ready to make an impact early on.

Floyd also suffered two concussions and missed a pair of games late as a result. The first concussion came on a frightening play at MetLife Stadium in November, when he was carted motionless off the field.

Floyd suffered a second concussion in late December and missed the season finale. Floyd attributed that concussion to poor tackling form, which has been an emphasis this offseason.

“I definitely got to be aware, because I don’t want to get another concussion and be sitting out games,” Floyd said. “I got to make sure I play every game.”

The No. 9 overall pick in 2016, Floyd dealt with a lengthy and concerning recovery from his second concussion. The Bears advised him to go easy during the early part of the offseason, but his mental focus wasn’t right.

He feels he’s in a better place now.

“It took me two months to really feel like I was back to myself,” Floyd said. “I was just relaxing, getting my mind back together.

“You just don’t feel normal. It’s the thinking part. You don’t think the same. I wasn’t thinking like I normally would think. And then I’d be staring off into space sometimes instead of paying attention.

“It gradually got better. Day by day, I was able to focus more. My mind wasn’t racing everywhere. I was able to lock in on things.”

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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