After drafting Kyle Long in the first round in 2013, the offensive lineman has become a staple of the Chicago Bears offense.
Long was taken with the 20th overall pick by the Bears, and Chicago has been the only team he has played for. Early Sunday evening, via Twitter, Long made an announcement about his future with the team, and about his future in general.
Long is ‘Stepping Away’ From Football
In a message to fans, Long wrote in one of a series of tweets: “Some chicagoans (sic) are probably happy to hear I’m finally stepping away and getting my body right. Some Chicagoans may be sad to hear this. Either way ufeel (sic) about it, I want u to know how lucky I am to have spent time in your city. I became a man while playing in Chicago. Thank you!”
Long also thanked his former and current coaches and general managers in a subsequent tweet. “Special thanks to Phil Emery, Marc Trestman and the rest of that staff for bringing me in. Thanks to and happy birthday to the young lady named Virginia as well. Ryan pace (sic), thank you for keeping me around as well.”
Long has played in 77 games as a pro, all with the Chicago Bears. Does Long’s decision to step away from the Bears mean he’s retiring from football? Based on some of his previous comments on Twitter, it certainly seems so.
Is Kyle Long Retiring From Football?
Long has said multiple times that he only wants to be a Chicago Bear, and that he has no desire to play for any other NFL team. Most recently, on January 1, in response to a Packer fan on Twitter, who wondered if Long might ever wear a green and gold jersey, Long wrote: “Only Jersey I will wear,” accompanied by an image of him wearing his Bears jersey. He has also noted in the past that he would like to remain a “Bear for life”.
Thus, it seems clear Long is retiring from football. He has had a great number of injuries throughout his seven seasons. When he went on the injured reserve this year, it was the fourth straight season he ended up there. He has had ankle, hip and shoulder injuries throughout his career, but he has been a stalwart member of the Bears offensive line in spite of it all.
Long was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons, and he was an unquestioned vocal leader on offense from the start.
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