Leonard Floyd was a late addition to the Bears’ injury report this week, with the second-year outside linebacker being listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a back issue that limited him practice on Friday.
Floyd, though, said he “of course” expects to play this weekend. He declined to go into specifics of what happened to his back, but coach John Fox said it was “bothering him a bit,” so the team limited him in Friday’s practice.
In Tampa Bay’s 36-10 win over the Bears last year at Raymond James Stadium, Floyd had 1 1/2 sacks and three tackles, but felt he could’ve done more that day.
“I left a lot of plays that I could’ve made out there on the field,” Floyd said. “I look forward to this Sunday to finishing those plays.”
Markus Wheaton’s practice status hasn’t changed since last week, with the speedy receiver remaining limited by the fractured pinkie he suffered in August. Officially listed as questionable for Sunday, Wheaton admitted he “absolutely” needs to go through a full practice before he can play in a game for the first time in a Bears uniform.
Wheaton said the “biggest question” he faces is how he’ll be able to use his hands in blocking opposing cornerbacks in the run game. But he also admitted he hasn’t been able to develop much chemistry with quarterback Mike Glennon due to that pinkie injury and the appendectomy that ruled him out for part of training camp, too.
“We got a good amount of reps in camp but definitely not where I want to be and I'm sure not where he wants to be,” Wheaton said. “So, we have to work on that. … If there's some things we need to work on, we'll work on them before we get out there, for sure.”
Still, Wheaton sounded fairly optimistic about how close he was to returning to a Bears receiving corps needing his ability to stretch the field, noting he’s catching real footballs (instead of Nerf balls, as he was early last week).
The Long road back
Kyle Long said on Friday he’s getting “closer and closer” to returning, but couldn’t guarantee he’ll be ready to play Sunday against Tampa Bay. Long participated — in a limited manner — in every Bears’ practice this week and is questionable for Sunday.
“I didn’t bring my magic ball, my crystal ball, but I will say I feel a ton better than I have and I think the guys see that and the coaches see that,” Long said.
The rest of the Bears’ injury report from Friday: Cornerback Prince Amukamara (questionable, ankle), running back Jordan Howard (questionable, shoulder), wide receiver Josh Bellamy (questionable, ankle), linebacker Christian Jones (questionable, back), safety Deon Bush (questionable, hamstring), running back Benny Cunningham (doubtful, ankle).