LAKE FOREST, Ill. — It’s only Wednesday night and Kyle Long’s already had a week to forget.
For the third time in three practices, the Bears’ practice was interrupted by two players getting into a fight. Wednesday night’s was the most intense yet, as Long and defensive lineman Jalen Dalton started shoving as a play ended during the team’s scrimmage. Long ripped off Dalton’s helmet and started to hit the undrafted free agent with it before tossing it off the field. The altercation was the second in three practices for Long, who did not return after. (He also appeared to get physically sick on the sidelines minutes later.)
“Well I mean we all saw what we saw and I saw the same thing,” Matt Nagy said after practice. “So you know I'm going to keep that between us internally. But it was just disappointing, you know, but we'll handle that internally and make sure that we do it the right way.”
After a peaceful two weeks in Bourbonnais, the Bears have yet to get through a practice without a fight since they broke camp on Sunday afternoon. Long and Akiem Hicks were involved in a shoving match on Sunday, while Javon Wims and Prince Amukamara mixed it up on Tuesday afternoon. After downplaying the first two incidents as inevitable side effects of preseason drudgery, Nagy was less understanding about the most recent scrap.
“You know, yesterday to me was a little bit more of a pillow fight,” he added. “Today I thought was a little bit, just like I said, it's disappointing…
“... Again, it’s all that kind of stuff where we’re more mature than that. I know that I personally expect more from us.”
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Left guard Cody Whitehair left practice after hurting his left hand. He walked off the field with trainers, his hand wrapped in a towel, and didn’t return. Nagy declined to give specifics on the injury, but the Bears don’t consider it serious. “I don't think he [broke a finger],” he said. “I'm not even sure to tell you the truth, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be fine is what I'm told.”
The Bears’ practice was structured like a real game, with a full 60-minute simulation under the lights. They had crowd noise and music blasting throughout, and even managed to include the Air Raid horn that is featured prominently at Soldier Field. “Yeah, I love that thing, I think it’s awesome,” Nagy said with a smile. “No I do, you know it’s just a part of the environment here at Soldier Field for us. The guys like it, we like it, so let's keep it going.”
It was a strong day for the secondary. Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine both had two interceptions apiece, the latter of which caught the eye of Nagy. “I thought I saw a couple nice plays from Buster,” he said. “It looked like he was flying around pretty good. Made some nice plays with the ball. Kyle Fuller made two really nice plays, with some interceptions.”
Tight end Trey Burton looked as involved as he’s been since camp opened. Nagy made mention of the fact that Burton was eager to get back into the game after being “subbed” out in the 3rd quarter.
Wide receiver Anthony Miller didn’t participate in practice. He’s been out with an ankle injury and Nagy declined to put a timeline on his return, only saying that he feels that Miller “is getting closer.”