John Fox: ‘Time will tell’ if Bears G Kyle Long can return from injury
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One day after guard Kyle Long was active but didn’t start, coach John Fox said ‘‘time will tell’’ whether Long will be able to play through the finger injury he suffered against the Saints.
Long played one snap Sunday against the Packers, a field-goal attempt before halftime when starter Josh Sitton left the game. Sitton returned for the next play.
‘‘Last week I didn’t feel like he was quite able to practice in a full speed to be prepared,’’ Fox said Monday. ‘‘He’s physically capable of being active. But, again, this is a game where you have to practice to get ready for a game in a lot of cases. So he was active, so he was healthy enough, but I’m not sure he was going to be healthy enough to take 70 snaps.’’
Long was supposed to have surgery on his left shoulder during the offseason, but complications from a procedure on his right ankle scuttled those plans. He has been forced to monitor the surgically repaired ankle throughout the season, occasionally skipping practices for rest and rehab. The ankle might be a larger concern than the shoulder.
Long returned to the sideline after hurting his finger against the Saints, but he didn’t play. Against the Packers, the Bears started Hroniss Grasu at center and shifted Cody Whitehair to right guard.
With Tom Compton (ankle) out, the Bears had no other offensive linemen on the 53-man roster Sunday.
‘‘We didn’t have a lot of alternatives,’’ Fox said.
Where was Tarik?
Rookie running back Tarik Cohen, whom offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains called ‘‘the best playmaker we have’’ last month, played only 22 percent of the Bears’ offensive snaps against the Packers. He had one run and one reception.
‘‘He’s involved, you know, quite bit,’’ Fox said. ‘‘I think defenses are doing more to take him away.’’
Fox, though, wouldn’t say that failing to get Cohen the ball was a reason for the Bears’ woes.
‘‘I think the key is that we move the ball, and it’s been a struggle,’’ Fox said. ‘‘But I don’t know that that’s the reason.’’
Shaheen blocking better
Saying he has a better sense of where the ball is going — and, therefore, where to position his body — rookie tight end Adam Shaheen said his blocking has improved in the first nine games.
But he admitted he was ‘‘in and out’’ against the Packers, with the low point being his holding penalty on linebacker Clay Matthews. Matthews tackled running back Jordan Howard anyway, and the flag was declined.
‘‘A couple of plays were on me,’’ Shaheen said. ‘‘Obviously, one where I tackled Matthews. I just have got to see that before the play, so he can’t beat me across.’’
The Bears signed receiver Tanner Gentry and offensive lineman Travis Averill to the practice squad. They cut receiver Darreus Rogers from it.
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.