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Bears’ Eric Kush tears hamstring from bone, needs surgery, to go on IR

Bears offensive guard Eric Kush (right) helps quarterback Jay Cutler after he was sacked by the New York Giants on Nov. 20, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. |
Seth Wenig/AP

BOURBONNAIS — Guard Eric Kush tore a hamstring off the bone during practice Friday, is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season.

Kush had struggled with hamstring problems during training camp, coach John Fox said, but the tear was unrelated.

“At the end of practice Friday, they thought it was spasms, they thought it was possibly scar tissue,” he said. “But he did tear his hamstring in a completely different place, unfortunately.”

The Bears re-signed Kush, who started four games in his first season with the team, to a two-year, $2.7 million deal in February. Kush, who can play guard and center, was the favorite to be the backup interior lineman.

His injury opens up a chance for Hroniss Grasu, the 2015 third-round pick, who lost his starting center job a year ago after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament during Family Fest.

If a starting guard gets hurt, starting center Cody Whitehair can move over, and Grasu can take his place at center. The Bears played Grasu at center and Whitehair at guard Monday because Kyle Long is still practicing on a limited basis.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to help this team, in whatever role they want me to be in,” Grasu said. “I know I’m a starter, a quality player, and I could bring a lot to help this team win.”

Quarterback Mike Glennon said adjusting to a new center doesn’t take long.

“I think everyone, they have a little bit different way — one, how they snap the ball, how hard it gets there,” he said. “Two — kinda weird — but it’s how high their butt placement is. It’s kind of different. Every guy’s got a different feel to him. I know that sounds weird to say, but it’s just the reality of it.”

Big crowd

Coming from a Division II school, tight end Adam Shaheen’s not used to playing in front of a lot of people.

“This is a much bigger stage than anything ever at Ashland,” Shaheen said. “The most we had was 10,000 to 15,000 people. There were probably more there at Family Fest than that.”

The Bears’ announced attendance Saturday was 13,872. Just wait until the preseason opener against the Broncos.

It will be the first real test of the 6-6, 270-pound Shaheen’s blocking. The key: “Just footwork, footwork, footwork,” he said.

This and that

Running back Jeremy Langford, who has a low ankle sprain, is doing conditioning work with the team, which Fox said was a good first step. He’s unlikely to play Thursday.

◆ The Bears went easy on outside linebacker Willie Young, who has a slight groin strain.

◆ Two days after he struggled during Family Fest, kicker Andy Phillips was cut. The Bears signed 5-7 wide receiver Pig Howard, who played collegiately for Bears receivers coach Zach Azzanni at Tennessee.

◆ With the roster spot created with Kush on injured reserve, the Bears signed undrafted offensive lineman Brandon Greene, who played tight end at Alabama.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com


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