The Chicago Bears knew that they would likely be without at least one of their potential starters when training camp gets underway at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, but when the team hits the field Friday, they will be without another key element to their squad.
That’s because right guard Kyle Long, who parlayed a starting role with the team last season into a dominant Pro Bowl campaign, will be sidelined for at least the first few days of camp, according to GM Phil Emery. Long is suffering from a viral infection, which has cost him some strength, and he will be re-evaluated next week, according to Emery.
Long will begin training camp on the active physically unable to perform list, and he will be joined on that list by safety Chris Conte.
Conte, who will be battling with players like Brock Vereen for a starting spot in the Bears’ defensive formation, had offseason shoulder surgery, and he isn’t far enough in his recovery to begin practicing yet. Emery ruled Conte out of the team’s first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles on August 8 at Soldier Field, but said he could begin practicing with the team after that date.
The Bears did have some good news on the injury front, with Jordan Mills (broken right foot) and Matt Slauson (shoulder surgery) both likely being on the field when camp begins on Friday. The team’s first practice will take place at 9am at the school, with everyone on the roster required to report to camp by midnight on Wednesday night.