Kyle Long announced his decision to walk away from the Bears and the NFL last month and the guard has expanded on what he was thinking when he made that call.
Long suffered a long list of injuries over the years, including a season-ending hip injury early in the 2019 season, and he last played an entire season in 2015. Long said that the physical ailments left him “unable to fulfill my end of the bargain” and that fact became clear when practicing against defensive tackle Akiem Hicks.
“It became clear to me in practices against Akiem,” Long said, via NBCSportsChicago.com. “We used to never dial back. And Akiem is a freakshow, and he was a great guy when we played together. Towards the end of my career, he would dial it back as not to embarrass me in practice.”
Long said his next step is “figuring out who the heck I am” outside of being a football player and said it could include working with the Bears in “another capacity,” although that appears to be one of several options for his next chapter.