CHICAGO (CBS) — Apparently the Chicago Bears decided over the bye week they would be better off with their Pro Bowl veteran guard on injured reserve.
It appears Kyle Long, a leader with a big heart, is at a crossroads in his career.
As CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reports, he’s not the only player the Bears will be missing.
“We can’t look back. We gotta go. I’m not going to let anybody sit here and sulk about what if,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy said. “That’s the last thing we’re going to do is make excuses because we have two guys out.”
Those two guys are Kyle Long and Akiem Hicks. Long goes on injured reserve while Hicks is out indefinitely. For Long, this is the fourth straight year the former Pro Bowler’s season will end on IR and could possibly be the end of his time in Chicago.
“I’ve seen how dominant he was. I’ve seen him pick 350 pound guys up off the ground. That’s really hard to do if you guys don’t know, and he would do that consistently,” said Bears offensive lineman Charles Leno, Jr. “So it just really sucks because I remember what he used to do.”
Rashaad Coward, Ted Larsen and rookie Alex Bars could all be in the mix to replace Long. On defense, Bilal Nichols, who’s missed the last three games with a hand injury, is working his way back to help the fill the void of missing Akiem Hicks.
“He pretty much helped mold me into the player I am,” Nichols said. “The best thing I can do is do what I can to make things easier on everybody else.”
Mitchell Trubisky was back on the practice field Monday, but Matt Nagy wouldn’t confirm he’ll play this week. Taylor Gabriel should be good to go after suffering a concussion against Washington, saying he practiced the hardest he ever has in his life and most importantly he’s feeling fast.