Bears

Itching for his first playoff game, Kyle Long returns to practice with Bears

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USA Today

Itching for his first playoff game, Kyle Long returns to practice with Bears

Kyle Long returned to practice on Friday for the first time since injuring his foot Oct. 28 against the New York Jets, signaling an important step toward the offensive lineman returning either for the Bears’ regular season finale against the Minnesota Vikings or during the playoffs in January. 

The Bears now have 21 days from Friday to activate Long off injured reserve and onto their 53-man roster, potentially adding a significant player back into their offense for what the team hopes is a deep playoff run. 

“I’ve never had a chance to play in the playoffs,” Long, a six-year veteran, said. “I’m just really happy for our team. We have put ourselves in a position to be in the playoffs. But right now we are going to San Francisco tomorrow and we’ve got business to take care of the next two weeks. There’s obviously no timeline, so I’m just trying to progress every day and make strides.”

For Long, the most important thing he needs to show over the next week or so is that he’s back in football shape after being sidelined for nearly two months (“I’ve got to make so I’m less out of breath the next day than I was before,” he said). Ideally, Long would be activated off injured reserve next week and be able to play in Minnesota to get game action before the playoffs start.

The Bears could still re-insert Long into their lineup come the playoffs even if he doesn’t play in the regular season, though move would be something the team’s coaching staff and trainers would need to think through, coach Matt Nagy said. 

“If we get to a point to where we feel like we can have him ready or play in the last regular season game, if that would make sense, great,” Nagy said. “If we feel like just talking through with him we get into the playoffs and that's something he can do, we can test that out, too, we just have to see. More so for him, he's gotta be honest with us, and then we've just gotta see conditioning because it is different. It's not like going out and running a mile or two miles, it's just a different type of conditioning.” 

The Bears’ offensive line has played better as of late, especially in pass protection, as James Daniels and Bryan Witzmann have settled in at left and right guard, respectively. But adding Long — who, when healthy, is one of the team’s best offensive linemen — back into the mix at right guard could act as a boost to the Bears’ burgeoning Super Bowl hopes. 

“I think he's a natural-born leader,” coach Matt Nagy said. “And then on top of that, he was playing really well. You forget and you see him out here at practice, you forget how huge he is. He's massive. He's strong, powerful, quick for his size and it's good to get him back. It's a good thing.”

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Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

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USA TODAY

Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

If Mitchell Trubisky has the kind of break out year in his second season under Matt Nagy that Bears fans are hoping for, he should have no problem cashing an OVER 26.5 passing TDs ticket for bettors who want to back him.

Per Bet Chicago, Caesars is rolling out division props and they set Trubisky’s touchdown pass total for 2019 at 26.5 and his pass yard total at 3,744.5.

While both those marks would be career highs for Trubisky, this number will surely be seen as a slight by the hometown fans and continue to add to the polarizing nature of the quarterback formerly known as the Pretty Boy Assassin.

In Chicago, and if you’re team Mitch, this number is ridiculously low and you’re probably already pounding the over.

Outside of Chicago, and with some analytical support, there’s a lot of doubt about Trubisky’s future as a viable option as an NFL starter, so I’d guess the Pro Football Focus crowd is probably gonna take the under.

We rolled out some props of our own on the Under Center podcast last week including:

Will Mitch Trubisky pass for 10 or more touchdowns than Craig Kimbrel has saves? (Including playoffs for both)

26.5 regular season passing touchdowns probably gives Kimbrel the edge, but it’s right in range. 

And that Trubisky – Kimbrel prop prompted this bold response from our own Bears insider JJ Stankevitz:

I don’t think I’m in the 40 club with my guy JJ, but the OVER certainly feels like the move here. At least it better be if the Bears are gonna make any sort of NFC North title defense. 

 

Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

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USA TODAY

Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

Scenario: you're walking down the street and randomly walk into a marriage proposal. What do you do?

For former Bear and current Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, the answer was to capture the magical moment on video. 

Olsen was in Nashville this week to give a keynote speech at a healthcare conference. While walking back to his hotel on Thursday, he randomly stumbled into a marriage proposal. His first response: hit record on his phone and capture the whole thing on video.

"Did she say yes? I got it on video, dude," Olsen said emphatically. "I'm going to send it to you!

"She said yes and I got it all on video, and you don't even know me, but I'm going to send it to you."

The couple, according to the Panthers, is Max Harvat and Brooke Hartranft. The two were visiting Nashville for the week, but Harvat didn't necessarily plan the proposal. It was as much of a sporadic moment for him as it was random for Olsen.

"Oh my god, you're my hero," Harvat said to Olsen after the proposal.

As it turns out, Harvat grew up a Panthers fan. However, he had no idea that Olsen was the person recording the proposal in the moment, only happy that someone caught it on video. When he stood up, he realized who the mystery man was.

“When I stood up, I looked over and I started having a mini heart attack," Harvat said to panthers.com. "I was like, ‘I’m 90 percent sure that’s Greg Olsen from the Panthers!’

“I'm a huge Carolina fan. I was like, ‘Oh my God, you're telling me that Greg Olsen just recorded the whole thing?’ I was so excited. It was amazing."

The moment wasn't just special for Havrat and Hartranft, though.

"It's the best thing I've ever witnessed," Olsen said in the video.

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