Bears right guard Kyle Long planted his right hand into the turf of the Walter Payton Center, got into his stance and waited for the snap.
It was a frequent sight at practice on Wednesday. Long dropped into pass sets, which included occasionally extending his arms, and he fired forward, when going over his footwork for run calls.
The problem was that it all happened off to the side, while he was a spectator at Bears practice. Long officially missed his fourth consecutive practice as he deals with a shoulder injury.
“It tells me he’s really bored right now,” Cutler said when asked about Long getting into his stance and going through the motions during practice.
“I’ve been there. I know what it’s like. It’s hard to stand on the sidelines and watch your teammates out there when you feel like you should be out there as well. I know what he’s going through. He’s going to fight through it and deal with it, with whatever he has. We’ll get him out there when he’s ready.”
That isn’t expected to be Saturday in the exhibition game against Kansas City Chiefs, meaning Cornelius Edison likely will start at center and Ted Larsen slides into Long’s right-guard spot.
“We’ll miss [Long] this week,” Cutler said, “Hopefully, we’ll get him back soon.”
Coach John Fox, as usual, provided scant details about the Bears’ injured players. Cutler, though, said he’s “not really that concerned” about Long, who did some light work with trainers on Tuesday.
In his three-year career, Long only has missed one game. He typically opts to play through injuries, which included having his right hand in a cast early last season.
“He’s still in the building,” Cutler said. “He’s still in meetings, still at practice, so his voice can be heard. [It’s] just the way he carries himself through this transition that he’s in now is going to speak volumes about him. He’s going to do it the right way.”
Cutler offered praise for the Bears’ reserves, but he also knows that Long has some irreplaceable qualities.
“You’re missing that big guy that can lock down the three-technique [defensive tackle],” Cutler said. “Whenever he’s in there, you know that side is pretty much going to be void. You don’t really have to worry about that. You’re going to have room to step up. He’s been a three-time Pro Bowler. He’s a heck of player for good reason.”