Kyle Long was told to stop practicing right before the one-on-one drills began.
He didn’t want to, he said with a smile.
He was frustrated during Saturday night’s practice at Solider Field, but the Pro Bowl right guard knew he had taken the most important step to date in his recovery from a viral infection.
“It’s tough,” he said. “But, obviously, they do a great job of keeping guys fresh and getting them healthy. I’ll just listen to what they have to say.”
Long participated in individual drills but not the team drills after missing the first week of camp.
He wasn’t sure whether he would try to return in time for the exhibition opener Friday.
“It was really nice to get in the pads,” he said. “It was really nice to be out there with the guys who have worked so hard all training camp. I’ve missed out on a lot of it, so it was good to get back today. We’ll keep the ball rolling Monday.”
Roberto Garza noticed.
“It’s definitely good to see him out there in our individual stuff,” the center said. “We miss him, man. He’s a big part of our O-line. And hopefully we get him back soon.”
Coach Marc Trestman said he will check with trainers Sunday.
“But things are looking up,” he said. “The plan is still in place. We said he was going to do individuals tonight, in pads, and he did. So that was a good sign. We’ll see where we are Monday.”
A lot of Lynches
Jordan Lynch gave away 12 tickets to family and friends but said even more showed up to see his first pro appearance at Soldier Field.
Lynch played there in high school and college but, strangely enough, had never visited as a fan.
“Coming out in front of the hometown fans and having a lot of family here and being a Chicago Bear and living my dream, it’s tremendous,” he said.
This and that
Trestman said there was value to Saturday night’s practice, under the lights and in front of a crowd of 27,000 — the Bears need to know what it feels like to prepare for their prime-time games.
“We got 40 new guys,” he said. “To get into Soldier Field and get a sense for this place and what it’s all about.”
◆ Defensive linemen Jeremiah Ratliff and Jared Allen did not practice as part of a veteran’s day off, though they did attend.
Tim Jennings (quad) and Eben Britton (left hamstring) did not practice.
◆ Running back Shaun Draughn missed practice with an excused absence. Trestman said he “had to go home” and it was “nothing out of the ordinary.”