BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The Chicago Bears sent left guard Kyle Long back to the locker room early Monday after he was involved in multiple skirmishes with both offensive and defensive players.
“There’s a certain standard we have and it’s something we weren’t very pleased with,” Bears coach John Fox said. “I haven’t had a chance to visit with him yet, but it’s something that we’ll handle it internally.”
Long got into it with teammates in team and individual drills before the Bears instructed him to leave. Monday’s practice — Chicago’s final one in Bourbonnais — was closed to the public but open to the media and select season-ticket holders.
Fox didn’t want to speculate about Long’s motives behind the outbursts.
“I really can’t answer that at this point, I’m sure obviously there was some frustration, again that’s not how we operate,” Fox said. “I didn’t really see everything, just know that there was a disturbance and we don’t need that. That’s why he left the field.”
The Bears have slowly increased Long’s team reps in practice as the three-time Pro Bowler works back from a right ankle injury suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last November. Long underwent surgery to repair the ligament damage to the ankle, but opted not to surgically fix a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Chicago is in the process of moving Long from right to left guard — the third position change of his five-year career. Long lined up at right tackle during the 2015 season.
OXNARD, California — Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was carted off the field Tuesday night with a right ankle injury suffered in practice.
Crawford was injured while chasing down Ezekiel Elliott on a run, when their legs became tangled and Elliott inadvertently stepped on the defensive lineman’s right ankle. Crawford grabbed for his lower leg and was tended to immediately.
He was in obvious pain as he left the field. A source said the hope is the ankle is not broken, but Crawford was taken to a local hospital for X-rays. After practice, teammates said a quick prayer for Crawford.
“When you have a guy like that — not only is he a great football player, but he’s a leader and there’s a void there and you are going to need somebody to step up,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “The sense of urgency for everybody has to go through the roof right now. … If there’s a way to come back, he’ll find a way.”
Defensive line is among the Cowboys’ biggest questions entering the season and the team can ill afford to lose Crawford, who has been a starter at different spots along the line since 2015. The Cowboys already will be without David Irving and Damontre Moore to start the season because of suspensions, and do not have a ton of experienced depth to begin with.
Dallas drafted Taco Charlton in the first round in the spring. He has been working at both left and right defensive end throughout camp. If Crawford, who has been bothered the past two years by shoulder injuries that required postseason surgeries, misses extended time, Charlton will need to become a bigger part of the Cowboys’ defensive line rotation.
“Hopefully nothing is bad,” Charlton said. “I’d hate to lose our leader on the defensive line. But at the end of the day, the next man has to step up and do their job.”