(670 The Score) Former Bears offensive lineman and three-time Pro Bowl selection Kyle Long is returning to the NFL after a year away from the game, his brother Chris Long and podcast co-host Macon Gunter revealed on Twitter on Tuesday.
Long, 32, is "healthy, happy, nasty, and shredded and has signed with Jeff Nalley of Select Sports Group," according to Gunter. Long played seven seasons with the Bears from 2013-'19 before spending the 2020 season in retirement. Long will immediately become an unrestricted free agent.
A first-round pick of the Bears in 2013, Long played in 77 games with Chicago, starting 76. His time with the team came to an end in 2019 after he was placed on season-ending injured reserve after he attempted to play through a nagging hip injury.
Long admitted he struggled with the Bears' decision and regrets how he carried himself near the end of his tenure in Chicago.
"I didn't bring positive energy toward the end," Long said on the Parkins & Spiegel Show on 670 The Score last Friday. "I was just so beat up."
Long also hinted at a return in that interview last Friday.
"I miss (football) every day," he said.
Long was a Pro Bowl lineman in each of his first three NFL seasons (2013-'15) before injuries took their toll. He played in just 30 of 64 regular-season games in his final four seasons with the Bears and returned from injuries as a less effective player. After a year of allowing his body to heal, Long should be ready to perform at a higher level.
The Bears are unlikely to be a potential suitor for Long given their current depth at guard.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.