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Bears proud of team — and league — for national-anthem reaction

While the Steelers expressed some regret about how they handled their national-anthem protest Sunday at Soldier Field, the Bears seemed pleased with their decision to link arms. Cornerback Sherrick McManis said Monday he wasn’t sure if they’d do it again Thursday against the Packers.

‘‘It was just something that we felt we should come together about,’’ he said. ‘‘Being together is never over for us, so . . . I don’t know. We’ll have to see.’’

Guard Kyle Long was proud of the leaguewide protests in the wake of President Donald Trump’s declaration that players should be fired for protesting.

‘‘I think as a league we’ve done a good job of being mature and being gathered, calculated with our thoughts and our statements,’’ he said. ‘‘Because these are very important things, and it hits home with a lot of people that I work with, that I spend most of my days with.

The Chicago Bears link arms during the National Anthem before they face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Soldier Field, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

‘‘So it’s something that we need to take seriously. I’m proud of the guys in this locker room. I’m proud of our ownership. I’m proud of our coaching staff for the way that we handled it.’’

Howard toughs it out

One day after Jordan Howard ran for 138 yards, the Bears marveled at how he did it with an injured right shoulder.

‘‘Usually, you’d be like: ‘Dude, go to the sideline. You’re not OK,’ ’’ Long said. ‘‘But there’s nobody tougher than Jordan Howard.’’

It made Long want to gut out his first game since having ankle surgery last year. He joked there were side bets about how many snaps he would last. He played every one, thanks to Howard.

‘‘They call it ‘juice,’ ’’ Long said. ‘‘When a guy like that walks in the huddle, you’ve got some juice.’’

Long said he was sore, but it beat not playing. He spoke with his dad, Hall of Famer Howie Long, who told him that was one thing he missed from his playing days.

‘‘Being sore after a game, feeling like you’ve done something,’’ Long said.

This and that

With a game Thursday, the Bears had to file an injury report Monday, despite not practicing. They declared center Hroniss Grasu (hand) and guard Josh Sitton (ribs) limited and guard Tom Compton a full participant. Inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who hurt his pec in Week 2, was out. Coach John Fox wouldn’t say whether Grasu broke his right hand Sunday.

The Bears and CBS Radio announced a contract extension that will keep the team’s games on 780-AM and 105.9-FM through 2022.

• Long said he had played only 10 snaps in practice at left guard, where the Bears planned to move him. He started at right guard with Sitton hurt.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com


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