LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A minor foot injury has not derailed Jeremy Langford's chances of beginning the year as the Chicago Bears' lead tailback in a crowded backfield.

In fact, Langford re-emphasized Thursday that he wants to be a three-down back, regardless of the Bears' stated preference of using a running back-by-committee approach.

"I think I'm definitely getting better at that [being a complete back]," Langford said. "Just really playing through contact and catching the ball when I get the opportunity to do so. And just showing my pass-blocking ability, which I haven't had the chance that much in the preseason so far. I think I'm making strides toward that real good."

Langford caused a minor stir over the weekend when he arrived at practice in a walking boot to protect a foot injury he suffered in Chicago's second preseason game at New England, but the second-year running back had full participation Thursday and hopes to play in Saturday's exhibition game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"It's getting better. It feels good," Langford said. "It got twisted by the sideline for a little bit. After the game, I felt soreness and tightness. But it's good now."

Aside from the foot problem, Langford had an encouraging evening in Foxborough. On the field for 25 snaps, Langford carried the ball eight times for 55 yards and one touchdown behind a Bears offensive line that opened holes in an outside zone blocking scheme.

"We've been practicing that since OTAs," Lanford said. "All the running backs have been doing it. It's something we've got to adjust to. I think it gives you more of a variety of cuts and more options in that style once the offensive linemen are doing as good as they are. I like running that outside zone scheme."

The 106th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, Langford ranked eighth in yards from scrimmage (816), fourth in rushing touchdowns (six), and sixth in receiving yards (279) among rookie running backs in 2015, when he appeared in 16 games (two starts) as the primary backup to Matt Forte.

Bears land one player in #NFLRank Top 100

August, 24, 2016
Aug 24
5:51
PM ET

EPA/TANNEN MAURY

Our panel of 50-plus NFL experts picked the greatest 100 players in the NFL heading into the 2016 season for the annual #NFLRank Top 100. The Chicago Bears landed one player on the list:

#NFLRank: Players No. 100-51 | No. 50-26 | No. 25-1


(Read full post)


Jonathan BullardAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhBears rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard has missed three consecutive practices for personal reasons but is expected to rejoin the team Wednesday evening.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- For the third straight practice, the Chicago Bears excused rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard for personal reasons on Wednesday, but head coach John Fox said he expects the third-round pick to rejoin the team Wednesday evening.

“Without going into too much detail, I think sometimes things outside of football kind of hold precedent over football,” Fox said Wednesday. “I expect him back tomorrow. Actually tonight, before tomorrow.”

While the news is encouraging for Bullard, who is having a productive camp, fellow rookie Leonard Floyd missed another practice, this time for what Fox called a leg injury. Floyd has dealt with issues ranging from illness to his hamstring and shoulder since the Bears jumped ahead two spots to draft him No. 9 overall.

Fox, however, stressed the team is happy with Floyd.

“I think he's been way more in than out,” Fox said. “We've been very, very pleased with his progress.”

In other injury news, running back Jeremy Langford (foot) practiced on a limited basis, but right tackle Bobby Massie and cornerback Deiondre' Hall are both sick. Inside linebacker Danny Trevathan dressed in full pads but did not participate in team drills.

Chicago's Kyle Long and Jay CutlerJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesKyle Long (left) has now missed four consecutive practices due to a shoulder problem. "We'll miss him this week, and hopefully we'll get him back soon," said Jay Cutler (right).



LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler downplayed the severity of Kyle Long's shoulder injury, but gave no indication of when he expects to have the three-time Pro Bowl guard back on the field.

“Not really that concerned [about Kyle’s injury],” Cutler said on Wednesday. “When he plays, he’s going to play. Until then, we’ve got a good crew out there. He’ll get back out there whenever he’s ready to get back out there.”

Long has now missed four consecutive practices because of a shoulder problem he developed sometime during last week’s preseason game at New England. Coach John Fox did not even mention Long’s name when he rattled off a handful of the team’s injuries following Wednesday’s workout inside the Walter Payton Center.

Cutler, though, seemed to suggest Long’s rehabilitation will be a test of character for the fourth-year offensive lineman, who has played in 47 of 48 career games since the Bears drafted him 20th overall in 2013.

“He’s still in the building,” Cutler said of Long. “He’s still in meetings, still at practice, so his voice can be heard. Just the way he carries himself through this transition that he’s in now is going to speak volumes about him. He’s going to do it the right way.

“[But] you’re missing that big guy that can lock down the three-technique [when Long is out]. Whenever he’s in there, you know that side is pretty much going to be void. You don’t really have to worry about that. You’re going to have room to step up. He’s been a three-time Pro Bowler. He’s a heck of player for good reason. We’ll miss him this week, and hopefully we’ll get him back soon.

The loss of Long for any extended period would be devastating for the Bears. Already thin on the offensive line after center Hroniss Grasu's season-ending torn ACL, Long’s absence, even a temporary one, forces the Bears to further reshuffle the interior of the line.

Veteran Ted Larsen, who took over for Grasu at center, is an experienced NFL guard from his time in Tampa and Arizona, but Chicago’s backup center on the preseason depth chart is untested, 23-year old Cornelius Edison. Former Indianapolis Colt Khaled Homes is another center on the Bears’ 90-man preseason roster.

All these contingency plans become moot if Long returns for Chicago’s regular-season opener versus the Houston Texans on Sept. 11.

But no one, at least publicly, can guarantee that Long will be available when the Bears play games that matter beginning next month.

“I’ve been there; I know what it’s like [to be hurt],” Cutler said. “It’s hard, it’s hard to stand on the sidelines and watch your teammates out there when you feel like you should be out there as well. I know what he’s going through. He’s going to fight through it and deal with it with whatever he has. We’ll get him out there when he’s ready.”

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Devin Hester to teams: Call my agent now

August, 24, 2016
Aug 24
10:40
AM ET

The most accomplished return man in NFL history is getting closer to making a comeback.

Devin Hester, who was released by the Atlanta Falcons in July, sent out an Instagram message with a video Wednesday, informing those interested that he is almost recovered from offseason toe surgery.

Here is the video:

Hester, 33, is represented by Roosevelt Barnes. Following his release from the Falcons, Hester told ESPN.com at least seven teams reached out to inquire about him. The names of those teams were not revealed.

Hester still has ties around the league, including to the Chicago Bears team that drafted him. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera was on the Bears' staff when Hester returned the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI for a touchdown. Former Bears special-teams coordinator Dave Toub now holds the same role in Kansas City. And former Bears receivers coach Daryl Drake is in Arizona.

Not to mention Hester strongly considered signing with Tampa Bay when Lovie Smith was the head coach. Current Buccaneers running backs coach Tim Spencer also was with Hester in Chicago.

Hester, who owns NFL records with 20 return touchdowns and 14 punt return scores, told ESPN.com he wants to play just one more season before retiring as a Chicago Bear.

Photograph by Fred Kfoury III/Icon SportswireBears nose tackle Eddie Goldman, the 39th pick in 2015, had 4.5 sacks and six tackles for loss in 12 starts as a rookie.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears' front office did a lot of work in the offseason to strengthen the front seven on defense.

In addition to signing veterans Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, the Bears used high picks on outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (first round) and defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (third round).

But the man responsible for tying it all together up front is second-year nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who reported to camp 16 pounds lighter than his listed weight (336 pounds) last season.

"I feel faster because I lost some weight," Goldman said on Tuesday. "Because I didn’t play a full game yet, so I can’t really judge myself, but I can tell you that feel faster, quicker. [And] I’m more comfortable with the playbook, and that’s pretty much it. Just learning the playbook and learning and feeling the techniques that you have to -- uh, not learning, but feeling it, you know what I mean? Feeling the techniques, and stuff like that."

The 39th overall pick in 2015, Goldman had 4.5 sacks and six tackles for loss in 12 starts as a rookie.

Coach John Fox thinks Goldman is capable of more.

"I've seen improvement," Fox said. "I think I've seen improvement in our front play, but I think we still have work to do. I think Eddie's ... he grew a lot last year as a rookie, and I've seen that same growth so far even in the preseason games, albeit in limited play. He got about 10 plays in the first week and then about 15 last week, so hopefully he'll get a few more plays, kind of get him in full-game condition. But I like his progress."

Goldman added: "I just want to see where I am like in the third quarter on Saturday [against the Kansa City Chiefs]. Because I doubt I’m going to play in the fourth quarter. To see where I am in the midst of the game, and just to see how my body will react, that’s what I’m most anxious to find out."

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Kyle LongAP Photo/Elise AmendolaBears guard Kyle Long's status for Week 1 of the regular season is unknown, with head coach John Fox saying, "when he's cleared he'll play."

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The injuries keep piling up for the Chicago Bears, but head coach John Fox did not express much concern about the team’s high number of bruised bodies making it difficult to prepare for the regular season, which is less than three weeks away.

“I think it's pretty much the same in the other 31 cities,” Fox said Tuesday. “It’s been about the same for me the last 15 years, so there's a difference between injuries and owies. We've had a couple injuries, and now it's just about getting everybody healthy for (the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against) Houston.”

One key situation to monitor is the heath of perennial Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long, who is nursing a shoulder injury. The Bears cannot, under any circumstances, afford to lose Long for an extended period of time, especially after center Hroniss Grasu went down for the season with a torn ACL.

Fox, however, would not say whether he expects Long to play in Chicago’s Week 1 road game versus Houston.

“It doesn’t really matter what I think,” Fox said. “There are medical people involved, and when he’s cleared he’ll play.”

In the event Long’s shoulder problem is serious, veteran Ted Larsen, who took over for Grasu at center, is experienced at guard. The Bears also list second-year lineman Cornelius Edison as their second-team center on the preseason depth chart.

In other injury news, running back Jeremy Langford (foot), linebacker Danny Trevathan (hamstring) and tight end Tony Moeaki (hamstring) were among the notable players to sit out Tuesday.

Fox said third-round pick Jonathan Bullard was excused for a second consecutive practice for personal reasons, but the coach indicated Bullard should be available for Saturday’s preseason game against Kansas City.

One small piece of good injury news: first-round pick Leonard Floyd returned after missing time with a tight hamstring.

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White is still a secret.

After months of offseason hype surrounding the now-healthy former seventh overall pick, White’s preseason contributions have been marginal.

Thus far, White has a combined two receptions for nine yards on four targets in a pair of exhibition games, not exactly gaudy numbers for the No. 2 receiver behind Alshon Jeffery.

Preseason games, however, can be deceiving on many levels.

Kevin White/Alshon JefferyAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhKevin White is "progressing right where we need him to be," Alshon Jeffery said.

Despite White’s pedestrian statistics, Jeffery thinks the second-year wideout is on track to experience regular-season success.

“He's taking coaching well and learning, because, I mean, he missed the whole year last year, so this year he's progressing right where we need him to be,” Jeffery said. “He listens to the coaches, and he's making plays and he's having fun.”

Jeffery, the Bears’ franchise-tag player, is passing along subtle tips to White, who has missed just one open training camp practice, which, if nothing else, constitutes some progress for player who developed a stress fracture in his shin overtraining for the NFL combine last year.

“I just told him to play physical because he's big, he's strong and he's fast,” Jeffery said. “Coach Curtis Johnson reminds him of that all the time. So, just told him to go out and have fun, just play physical and just do what he’s been doing.”

The best glimpse of White in the preseason could come Saturday versus the Kanas City Chiefs, where the Bears' first team is expected to play at least one full half. While it’s not a requirement, it would be beneficial for White to get more involved offensively, without compromising what Chicago’s offense truly intends to do Week 1 at Houston.

The Bears have not hesitated to throw the ball in Jeffery’s direction (three preseason receptions for 53 yards) since he returned from a hamstring injury. White needs to get on the same plan in the final tune-up at Soldier Field.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Chicago Bears will get a much-needed day off on Monday after approximately 20 players sat out a fully padded practice at Halas Hall.

Among the guys missing in action on Sunday: first-round pick Leonard Floyd.

“He had a slight hamstring [injury],” coach John Fox said. “It’s more precautionary. They've got tomorrow off and we form back up and get a little bit more of an in-season schedule, so we'll see how he is coming off the off day.”

Meantime, running back Jeremy Langford is still nursing a sore foot, but he attended practice without the walking boot he wore on his left leg Saturday night. Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long remains sidelined with a shoulder problem.

Fox added that he excused rookie third-round pick Jonathan Bullard for personal reasons, and that inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman and cornerback Tracy Porter were given veteran days off. Other notable players to skip Sunday’s session: linebacker Danny Trevathan (hamstring), tight end Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and cornerback Kyle Fuller (knee scope).

The Bears return to the field on Tuesday in advance of next week’s home preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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