By Chris Emma—
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) – Bears guard Kyle Long walked off the field alone a frustrated man Monday morning. His helmet remained strapped, and the glare on his face was firm.
Moments prior, Long was being ripped away from a scrum by teammates in what was his second altercation of the day. Bears coach John Fox sent Long back to the locker room, ending his time in Bourbonnais early.
Fox spoke later with Long.
“Obviously, there was some remorse there,” Fox said. “He was embarrassed for himself and for the team. Those things happen. Our guys, we’ve got a bond and he’s one of our family and he’ll be treated as such, like any kind of thing that happens in a family.”
Long has been dealing with a difficult time entering his fifth season in the NFL. He spent the entire offseason recovering from a gruesome ankle injury and the surgery that followed, all while also mending a torn labrum suffered last August. Long had previously described the tough moments that came with his recovery. On Wednesday, Long missed practice to have an ankle check-up.
With the preseason here, Long is dealing with another position change – this one from right guard to left – and handling the movement with limited reps as the Bears ease him back to action slowly. From afar, Long has also been distracted by what took place in his hometown of Charlottesville last Saturday, when a clash at a white supremacist rally created an ugly scene and ended in tragedy.
There have been difficulties that arrived for Long this August, and frustration got the best of him and created a poor look Monday.
“Any time a player’s injured, they get something that they love taken away from them,” Fox said. “It’s been a minute, there’s some pain and suffering that goes along with it and I’m sure those are things. But we have a lot of resources here. Kyle knows he’s loved here, by his teammates and by everyone in the building. He’ll get through it, we talked about that and I think he feels confident in that.
“It’s people around you, and he’s surrounded by a lot of people that care about him. He’ll do just fine.”