(610 Sports) – When the Kansas City Chiefs lured Kyle Long out of retirement, they did so with the hopes that he could not only return to his Pro-Bowl form but also stay healthy, something their offensive line was able to do during the 2020 NFL season. Unfortunately, Long is in familiar territory after he reportedly fractured his kneecap during offseason OTAs, according to NFL reporter Tom Pelissero.
Long, a former first-round pick for the Chicago Bears was one of the league’s better linemen who could play both guard and tackle in his prime. The big knock throughout most of his career was that he couldn't stay healthy, highlighted by the fact that he hadn't played an entire 16 game slate since 2015.
In an attempt to overhaul their offensive line, following a Super Bowl run in 2020 that saw quarterback Patrick Mahomes pressured a record 29 times against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chiefs lured Long out of retirement with an incentive-laden contract with a $1.5 million base salary worth potentially up to $5 million.
Fortunately for the Chiefs, they put a lot of emphasis on the o-line this offseason and have a number of players who were vying for the playing time at the guard position, including Andrew Wylie, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, and Trey Smith, with others like Mike Remmers capable of sliding over.
For Long, following a year away from the NFL, OTAs and training camp were vital in getting him ready for the season, so the setback could make it tough for him to work his way back into the rotation once he returns, which will most likely be during the regular season.