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Long's Shoulder Injury Leaves Status Uncertain, Though Cutler Isn't Worried

By Chris Emma--

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) -- Bears right guard Kyle Long's status for Week 1 in Houston is in flux, with the three-time Pro Bowler missing time due to a shoulder injury.

The Bears are preparing without Long, sliding Ted Larsen in at right guard and inserting Cornelius Edison in at center. Consider it a necessary precaution in case Long can't play against the Texans on Sept. 11. Still, quarterback Jay Cutler isn't worried.

"Not really that concerned," Cutler said of Long's shoulder status Wednesday at Halas Hall. "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 played in Chicago's second preseason game last Thursday in New England, not showing any signs of injury. However, he was sidelined for Saturday's practice in Gurnee and hasn't taken the field since.

On Wednesday, Long was present at practice, visiting with Cutler coach John Fox and other teammates. He even fired out of his stance from the sidelines.

"Tells me he's really bored right now," Cutler joked. "I've been there, I know what it's like. It's hard, it's hard to stand on the sidelines and watch your teammates out there when you feel like 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."

Long's injury is just one of many for the Bears. Rookie outside linebacker Leonard Floyd missed practice with a leg injury. Meanwhile, tackle Bobby Massie, fullback Darrel Young and defensive back Deiondre' Hall are among players dealing with a stomach virus spreading through Halas Hall.

Bears running back Jeremy Langford returned Wednesday from a foot injury, and linebacker Danny Trevathan came back after battling a hamstring ailment. Both were limited in their action.

However, it's the status of Long that's of foremost focus at Halas Hall. The Bears' offensive line looks different without his presence at right guard.

Chicago hosts Kansas City on Saturday in its third preseason game, which typically serves as a dress rehearsal for the season.

"You're missing that big guy that can lock down the three-technique," Cutler said. "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."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago's sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.


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