On a day in which the Bears learned that wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was suspended four games, the team also reportedly found out it will be without offensive lineman Kyle Long for the rest of the season.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Long's MRI came back with the bad news.
Long was carted off the field and returned in the second half with a wrap around his ankle due to the injury. His injury was part of a number of key injuries the Bears suffered on Sunday, including fellow offensive lineman Bobby Massie and running back Jordan Howard.
The 27-year-old missed just one game in his first three seasons in the NFL, totaling 47 starts. This season, Long also missed the Week 8 game against the Vikings.
No one steals thunder quite like the NFL.
On a day when the NHL is planning to publicly announce how their season will return, it's being reported that the NFL may take a significant step towards their own reopening – and soon.
Yahoo Sports' NFL columnist Charles Robinson is reporting that NFL coaches may return to team facilities as early as next week, and the league has its eyes on OTAs in mid-to-late June:
The sources told Yahoo Sports that if coaches resume their in-house work next week, minicamps including players could be scheduled as early as June 15 or as late as June 27, depending on COVID-19 data and whether a handful of franchises get a “go ahead” signal from state governments to resume full operations. Resuming full operations and getting a minicamp scheduled would represent the league's biggest step to date toward keeping the 2020 NFL season on track for a regularly scheduled fall kickoff.
Robinson's source adds that 'June 15 and June 27 are the dates that have been identified as potential full-squad minicamp windows,' and the 'key hurdle' is the timeline in which California governor Gavin Newsom begins to reopen the state. Newsom has already expressed a willingness to have professional sports team return under strict and specific guidelines.
The news is a good sign for the return of the NFL on a normal schedule – a reality that's looked increasingly likely over the past couple weeks.
Kevin White's time in the NFL didn't produce many highlights, and the former first-round pick's time in Chicago was mostly spent trying to heal from a variety of different serious injuries. The physical toll left White in a bad place, and he openly admits in an interview with our Bears Insider JJ Stankevitz that it affected his preparation at times:
Because it’s like, if this guy is good, how the hell is he inactive? How? How is that possible? It’s the seventh pick overall, how is that possible? What, does he not know the playbook? Can he not run routes? Is he not getting open? None of that. It was none of that. None of that. Now I would say at times I did check out, where it was like we’re running this, we’re running Pacer, we’re running — I was like, I’m not playing, why — there’s no reason for me to know in and out anymore. When I knew in and out it was like oh, this is the game, this is the plan, now you get to … Kevin, what do we have on here? I don’t know. Y’all figure it out. It kind of got to that, I was so mad and angry I didn’t know, you know what I mean, at times, everyone’s (here) for a purpose and I’m like, I don’t care.
It's eye-opening to see a former player be this candid about his time in the league, and easy to imagine that terrible injury after terrible injury eventually sapped White of the passion-for-preparation that so many NFL veterans say is needed to succeed. You can listen to the entire 45+ minute conversation on the latest episode of the Under Center Podcast: