BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- After receiving medical clearance to return from a viral infection earlier in the week, Chicago Bears right guard Kyle Long remains on schedule to make his training camp debut on Saturday night when the team hosts their annual Family Fest practice at Soldier Field.
Following three days of conditioning work, Long told ESPN 1000’s “Carmen and Jurko Show” he is eager to resume football-related activities for the first time since the end of the offseason program in June.
“I feel good. I’m getting back on my feet,” Long said. “Had a rough few weeks, but if I had it my way I would have been out there the first day this week. But they’ve been holding me out trying to get my strength and conditioning back up. For a guy who has a ton of energy all the time I was really drained. It was really killing me to get back out there on the field.
“[Sitting out] gives you a different perspective especially when you are not on film because you get to watch everybody and are not just watching your position. I’ve been watching what all the guards and Roberto Garza have been doing from a technical standpoint. It’s been a good experience.”
Players normally shed pounds when they battle a viral infection, but Long revealed that he actually gained some weight during the layoff.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Long said. “I leaned out and actually gained weight. I was happy.”
The Bears' initial plan calls for Long to gradually ease back into the mix. The club’s 2013 first-round draft choice, Long was selected to the Pro Bowl after starting all 16 games at right guard as a rookie. While it’s important for Long to take his share of preseason snaps, the Bears know the importance of keeping the core of the team healthy in the weeks leading up to the regular-season opener versus the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 7.
“I think he’ll do individual [drills] if we’re on schedule here,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “He may do more than individual, but I wouldn’t count on it. Our goal is to get him in pads on Saturday night and to get him through individual. Then we’ll see where he is on Sunday and work in a positive way to get him on the field on Monday.”