LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears offensive guard Kyle Long expressed remorse over his role in a heated practice fight last week that culminated with Long attacking a teammate with the teammate’s own helmet.
“Obviously what I did was absolutely unacceptable,” Long said after Tuesday’s practice. “As a human being, as a teammate, without question, what I did was uncalled for and absolutely so far over the line that it was on me to handle that internally and speak to the people that I needed to speak to. I’ve done that.”
The incident occurred during last Wednesday’s team scrimmage when Long got into it with Bears undrafted rookie defensive lineman Jalen Dalton. During the altercation, Dalton’s helmet came off and ended up in Long’s possession. The three-time Pro Bowler repeatedly swung the helmet at Dalton as teammates attempted to intervene. Long also threw punches during the fight and tossed Dalton’s helmet across the field after the two were separated.
Long watched the rest of the scrimmage from the sidelines and then stayed behind — per the team’s wishes — when the Bears traveled to New Jersey the following day for their second preseason game against the New York Giants.
“As a rule of thumb if you’re going to use another piece of equipment, don’t do that,” Long said. “I mean, honestly somebody could get hurt. That’s why I’m saying it’s unfortunate. Can’t happen, unacceptable. Gotta move forward, have to be able to channel that between the whistles.”
Long’s brief hiatus ended when he returned to practice on Tuesday.
“As you guys know, this is a league about action, it’s not a league about talking about it,” Long said. “The thing I need to continue to do is go out on a day-to-day basis and try to prove to the men in this locker room that don’t know me very well and who have some questions about my character, and just try to move forward and prove to them the man I am on a daily basis. It was wrong what I did and in a lapse of judgment, that’s where I ended up, and it reflected poorly on the organization, the city, the offensive line room and that was never my intention. Moving forward I intend to make amends.”
Aside from last week’s incident, Long, 30, had been enjoying his best training camp in years. The former 2013 first-round pick is finally healthy after battling a slew of serious injuries that limited him to 26 regular-season games from 2016-18. And despite being asked to take a paycut in the offseason, Long is firmly entrenched as the Bears’ starting right guard.
“The last time I was in pads every day and practicing every day was my rookie year,” Long said. “I haven’t done that in a long time. And it feels pretty darn good. I put this camp up with any of them that I’ve been a part of.”