The Bears will be receiving a boost just in time for the playoffs. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the team will be activating offensive lineman Kyle Long off the injured reserve today. To make room on the roster, Chicago waived quarterback Tyler Bray (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter).
Long suffered a foot injury during his team’s late-October victory over the Jets. The injury involved a tendon, and it wasn’t related to his broken ankle from 2016. His estimated time of recovery was six to eight weeks, and Long was healthy enough to be activated by the time he was eligible to return. Earlier this week, head coach Matt Nagy acknowledged that Long had completed an entire week of practice and would likely play most of the game this weekend.
‘‘Just talking to him throughout the week, I feel pretty good with him playing most of the game,’’ Nagy told Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun Times. ‘‘But we’ve just got to kind of see if that’s where we’re at and if it is a pitch count. I think a lot of that, honestly, is going to be more so when you’re in the game: How’s he feeling?
‘‘If he’s feeling good, keep him going. If he’s not . . . maybe it’s just between all of us talking, ‘Hey, let’s just get him out.’ It’s good for him any way you look at it.’’
The 2013 first-round pick has battled through injuries over the past three years, missing a total of 22 games during that span. When he’s been in the lineup, Long has been among the top offensive guards in the entire league. Pro Football Focus only ranks him 28th among 79 eligible guards in 2018, but he was previously an annual inclusion in the top-five.
Current starting offensive guards Eric Kush and James Daniels have seen their way in and out of the starting lineup this season, and Long will surely replace one of them. Daniels, a second-round rookie, has graded out as the better lineman this season, per Pro Football Focus.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.