IR season begins, Kyle Long and Mitch Unrein out for the year


The Chicago Bears are eliminated from playoff contention. It is time to get healthy and see what young players can do

It happens to every team, every season. The week they are eliminated from the playoffs, and the following weeks remaining in the season end up being filled with roster changes and trips to the Injured Reserved. That is why it is no surprise to see that the Bears put two of their starters on the Injured Reserved on Tuesday.

Long has had a bad track record of injuries recently. Last season he ended the year on the IR, and that injury lingered into training camp and the regular season of 2017. Long missed a game a couple of weeks ago in a bit of a surprise, but it has been clear all season that this was not Long at his best. The Bears will hope that placing him on the IR and giving him this full offseason that should not require any major surgery could be what revives his career.

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For Unrein, Jonathan Bullard has slowly been cutting into his snap counts the past few weeks. It could have to do with Unrein fighting through something, it could also have to do with Bullard starting to see the game slower. Either way, Bullard is going to get the brunt of the snaps next to the two starters Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman over the next month. Roy Robertson-Harris should be seeing more playing time as well.