Sizing up the Bears’ injury situation player by player

SHARE Sizing up the Bears’ injury situation player by player

Bears guard Kyle Long. (AP)

From outside linebacker Pernell McPhee to guard Kyle Long, it has been a newsworthy two days for the Bears’ injured players.

And it’s not all negative.

With the Bears’ Sept. 11 season opener against the Texans fast approaching, here’s a look at the injured list and the prognoses:

RG Kyle Long

Status for opener: Looking better.

Long hasn’t officially practiced since the Bears’ preseason game Aug. 18 against the Patriots because of his shoulder injury.

But he has been active, often partaking in side work with trainers. He also stretched with his teammates this week.

Long isn’t practicing, but at least he’s taking steps to keep himself in shape should he be cleared for Week 1.

It’s hard not to be optimistic at this point. Even coach John Fox, forever guarded in his status updates, said he expects him back in some form next week.

“I think it’s fair to say he won’t play this week against Cleveland [on Thursday],” Fox said Tuesday. “But we’re anticipating him at least being back out there to get ready for Houston.”

WR Eddie Royal

Status: Good to go.

After entering concussion protocol Aug.  1, Royal was officially cleared Monday. He’s unlikely to play in Cleveland, though, meaning he’ll miss the entire preseason.

Fox seems OK with it, too, given Royal’s nine years of experience.

The Bears seemingly still have a role for Royal, but it’s unclear where. Royal was limited to nine games in 2015 because of various ailments.

“Eddie’s had his moments as far as it relates to injuries,” Fox said. “Sometimes it’s a string of bad luck, but when healthy, he’s a very talented player.”

TE Zach Miller

Status: Good to go.

A hard hit from outside linebacker Lamarr Houston in Bourbonnais sent Miller into concussion protocol, starting Aug. 1. He also was cleared Monday.

Miller’s value is undeniable. He’s the clear No. 1 tight end — the starter against the Texans — but he leads a thin group that has struggled with injuries.

The Bears desperately need Miller to remain healthy.

“I just never wanted to go backward with [my concussion],” Miller said. “We were taking it day by day, and if something new popped up, it was never anything that we felt was super-serious.”

ILB Danny Trevathan

Status: Murky.

A day after fully participating in practice and speaking to the media, Trevathan did not practice.

That’s not good, even if Trevathan wasn’t going to suit up Thursday. The best news is that the Bears won’t practice again until Monday, giving him more time to get over his hamstring injury, which appears to be more nagging than serious.

Trevathan didn’t discuss his injury Monday, but he said Saturday that it was important for him to play against the Chiefs after missing the Patriots game.

He made three tackles on only 20 snaps, while other defensive starters played significantly more.

“It was the first live action in a [while], but it felt pretty good,” Trevathan said. “I got some good reps. I’ve got weeks to get a little bit better, but it felt good out there being with my teammates.”

CB Tracy Porter

Status: Murky.

Under Fox, the Bears have been patient with players who have suffered concussions (i.e., Miller and Royal).

It’s an approach that won’t change with Porter, regardless of his overall importance and the Bears’ other injuries at cornerback.

Things didn’t look good when he needed assistance off the field after safety Harold Jones-Quartey ran into him while making a tackle against the Chiefs.

Teammates sounded optimistic afterward, but concussions are unpredictable.

Porter, 30, was a spectator at practice this week, though he did take part in some side work.

CB Kyle Fuller

Status: Likely out.

Fuller underwent arthroscopic knee surgery while the Bears were in Foxborough, Massachusetts, practicing with the Patriots (Aug. 15-17), and updates have been scarce since because of his inactivity.

Fuller isn’t thought to be out for an extended period, but his knee had been bothering him since the offseason. His sore knee was starting to affect his movements, prompting the decision for surgery.

CB Bryce Callahan

Status: Murky.

The Bears’ decision to add nickel back K’Waun Williams, whom they successfully claimed off waivers from the Browns, doesn’t bode well for Callahan.

Williams is dealing with bone spurs in his ankle, but Callahan’s hamstring injury kept him out of the Patriots and Chiefs games.

The Bears remain high on Callahan, an athletic 5-9, 191-pound defensive back with good ball skills who’s in his second season after going undrafted out of Rice.

But Williams (5-9, 183 pounds) is in the same mold. He was the Browns’ starting nickel back the last two seasons.

OLB Pernell McPhee

Status: Likely out.

As Fox indicated Monday, it’s possible that McPhee starts the season on the physically unable-to-perform list, meaning he’ll miss at least the first six weeks.

McPhee had surgery on his left knee in February, and his recovery has been slow and arduous. His activities have increased recently, but his only work has come with trainers.

WR Alshon Jeffery

Status: Good to go.

Since tweaking his hamstring in Bourbonnais, which evoked memories of last year’s injury problems, Jeffery has remained healthy. He played in all three preseason games.

Jeffery is set to enter next week’s preparations healthy after sitting out Thursday. Knock on wood.

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