The Bears are expected to put right guard Kyle Long on IR, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link). That’s obviously disappointing news for Chicago, whose O-line has struggled mightily this year.
Of course, Long is one of the offensive lineman who has underwhelmed, so losing him might not be as big of a blow as it would have been in years past. It seems that time has taken a toll on the 30-year-old Oregon product, who hasn’t started more than nine games since 2016. He has been dealing with a hip injury this year, and it could be that the hip pain has caused his play to suffer.
Even so, he remains an intelligent veteran presence, so he will still be missed. The Bears, 3-2, have a bye this week and will be without Long for at least eight weeks. If the club is still in playoff contention at year’s end, Long could theoretically return for a postseason push. In the meantime, Rashaad Coward may get the nod in Long’s absence.
Long and the Bears agreed to a contract restructure in February that removed the 2021 season from Long’s deal, meaning he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 2020 campaign. But Long was a potential cap casualty before the restructure, so he may have already played his last snap in a Bears uniform.