The Bears have lost star offensive lineman Kyle Long for the season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Long, the leader of the O-line, will leave a void that goes far beyond performance.
Long suffered a right ankle injury on Sunday and had to be carted off of the field. Based on that alone, the feeling in Chicago was that Long would be out for an extended period of time. Left guard Josh Sitton expressed frustration with Long’s unfortunate injury as the Bears have had bad luck in that department all year.
“It seems like we’ve got somebody freaking hurt every game,” he said (link via Patrick Finley of the Sun Times). “It sucks watching him down there on the ground. It’s tough to see one of your friends, one of your teammates and a helluva competitor, he was down there and he was in a lot of pain. It was tough to see.”
Long has only missed a pair of games during his three-plus years in the league, including the Bears’ Week 8 contest against the Vikings. The 27-year-old has been playing through a torn labrum in his left shoulder since the beginning of the season. Ted Larsen filled in for Long two weeks ago, and he’ll presumably slide into the starting right guard spot during his teammate’s absence. This would leave the Bears with a pair of lineman, Mike Adams and Eric Kush, on the bench.
Long signed a four-year, $40MM extension with the Bears in September. The 2013 first-round pick has been named to three Pro Bowls, and he was also a second-team All-Pro in 2014.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.