BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Kyle Long has enough to work through, as he returns from a serious ankle injury and switches from right guard to left guard. He shouldn’t have to worry about his shoulder, either, and he doesn’t.
The Bears three-time Pro Bowler explained his decision to not repair a partially torn labrum after participating in the first practice of training camp.
“Obviously I had real extensive surgery on my ankle and lower leg, both sides of my leg. It was a really, really tough process going through that with the medication that they provided me — it was protocol, standard operating procedure — but my body didn’t handle it very well,” he said. “I just thought it was in my best interest being the shoulder wasn’t a super serious thing, it wasn’t something that was going to limit me completely, to take it one procedure at a time. The timetable would not have added up to be able to be ready when I wanted to be ready.”
The staff will ease Long back in — John Fox compared it to a NASCAR race.
“You don’t want to go real slow and putz around all the time,” he said. “You want to get a little faster each lap without wrecking. So that’s kind of the deal we’re on with him.”
Goldman, Bush miss practice: There were two Bears who didn’t participate in the team’s first practice from training camp — defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and safety Deon Bush. They were both pulled from Wednesday’s conditioning test because of dehydration, but both are expected to participate in Friday's session.
Fox said that Goldman, who figures to be a crucial piece in the defense, came to camp “in great shape” weighing 315 pounds, but that the 2015 second-round pick “might have dropped too much weight too fast.”
Miller returns: Back from another foot injury, tight end Zach Miller opened camp on the field, a positive development after he didn’t participate in spring practices. He knows his health is the No. 1 thing he needs to show the staff in what should be a spirited battle at tight end.
“Be healthy. I don't think ability-wise that there's any question I can play and Coach Fox always says ability is availability,” he said. “I’ve got to be healthy, I've got to stay healthy and let my game kind of take care of itself.”
Sanchez says no QB controversy: The quarterback tasked with helping both Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky is veteran Mark Sanchez, who has played multiple roles in his NFL career, most recently working with Dak Prescott in Dallas last year.
“There’s no chance [a quarterback controversy] happens here. It’s been defined clearly, and that’s what you need,” he said. “… But we’re not going to have an issue. Because Mike’s going to play his butt off.”
Quick hits: Marcus Cooper left practice early. He missed time in the spring with a hamstring injury. … The play of the day came when Trubisky hit Tanner Gentry for a deep pass down the right sideline.