The Bears held their opening press conference of training camp, with Phil Emery and Marc Trestman going nearly an hour to get everyone ready for the start of the 2014 campaign. There was a lot of discussion about the offseason moves and the anticipation of the upcoming season. It was a lot of fluff but there were a few interesting tidbits. The biggest “news” from the day was the announcement that Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long will miss the start of training camp this weekend after coming down with a viral infection.
“It’s not infectious,” Emery said. “Kyle is feeling better. If it was left up to Kyle, he would be out there. Obviously he loves his teammates, he loves the Chicago Bears and he loves playing football, so we’re just going to be cautious. Let him get the rest he needs. The rest is very important so he can fully recover and so it doesn’t come back on him.”
Long will be re-evaluated next week and in all likelihood will be back next week. It doesn’t sound serious but it just raises awareness that injuries can wreak havoc on a season.
Long’s linemates Jordan Mills, who suffered a broken foot in the season finale against the Packers, and Matt Slauson, who underwent shoulder surgery, have been fully cleared to participate in practice.
On the other hand, Chris Conte will start the preseason on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Conte underwent shoulder surgery this offseason after an abysmal 2013 campaign. It’s unclear about when he’ll be back, Emery thinks it will be after the first preseason game, but he’ll have to hurry up if he wants a shot at a roster spot. Rookie Brock Vereen and veterans Ryan Mundy and Adrian Wilson are all vying for the starting safety positions.