We already know that Chicago Bears right guard Kyle Long is out indefinitely, because of the foot injury that forced him to leave early from last Sunday’s win against the Jets and had him riding around on a scooter at Halas Hall. But what we don’t know is how the Bears are going to move forward with their roster situation in relation to that injury.
Chris Emma of 670 The Score tweets the team could opt to put Long on injured reserve. That procedural move would put Long down for at least eight weeks (which may well be longer than he needs), but it would clear up a roster spot that could be used by the front office to add some depth to the roster. The Bears don’t have to make a move immediately, mind you, but the decision needs to be made by Saturday. Should Chicago opt to go this route, it would put Long in line to return at the end of the projected 6-8 week timetable that was laid out by NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport earlier this week.
If you’re optimistic about Long’s potential late-season return, then hold onto that feeling because the rest of the Bears’ injury report might change your mood:
#Bears Thursday Injury Report:
DNP: Braunecker (concussion), Long (foot), Mack (ankle), Nichols (knee), Robinson II (groin)
Limited: Kush (neck)
Full: Gabriel (knee)
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) November 1, 2018
Rookie defensive lineman Bilal Nichols going from limited participant to not practicing at all is a concerning development and his status will be worth watching over the next two days. Nichols earned his first career start in Week 8, but received a lower percentage of snaps than he did the week before when he came off the bench. The Bears have been steadily increasing the Delaware product’s role and his presence has bulked up what was already a strong group of defensive linemen.
Pass-rusher Khalil Mack (ankle) and wide receiver Allen Robinson II (groin) remain on the conservative plan set forth by the Bears last week. We’ll see if that continues with both players participating as limited on Friday or if better news comes their way. Offensive lineman Eric Kush remains limited with a neck injury. If Kush can give it a go on Sunday, he is the most likely candidate to start at right guard in place of Long.
The best news to come from the injury report is that wide receiver Taylor Gabriel was a full participant in Thursday’s practice. Gabriel was limited because of a knee injury on Wednesday. Should Robinson miss his second straight game because of a groin injury, Gabriel will once again report as a top option for Mitch Trubisky in the Bears’ passing game.