Kyle Long retired this past offseason at the age of 31. It wasn’t the end of the career he had planned. Sadly that is how it works out for many players. Injuries piled up on his body dating back to 2016 and the former three-time Pro Bowler never seemed to reach 100% for long since. After a hip ailment landed him on Injured Reserve last year, it was the final straw.

With the Chicago Bears prepared to go in a new direction, he had two choices. Seek out a new team or retire. Not wanting to wear a different jersey, he went with the latter. It wasn’t a huge surprise. Long made his money over the past seven seasons. Putting his body through more punishment just to chase a Super Bowl with another team wasn’t worth it. He had other career opportunities in front of him, several of which he has fulfilled.

That doesn’t mean fans are happy he’s gone.

The Bears offensive line has entered a bit of a crisis period. James Daniels, their starting left guard and perhaps their best blocker was lost for the year to a torn pectoral. His replacements in Alex Bars and Rashaad Coward have done anything but impress since taking over. People fear the offensive line is becoming an Achilles heel to this 5-1 team.

As a result, many have begged Long to reconsider retirement and contact the Bears about a possible return. To this point, the replies have been somewhat cryptic. Long stated on Twitter that he’s in shape but still below his playing weight at 294 lbs. The idea of a comeback isn’t on his mind.

Or so he says. Where it gets interesting is not 24 hours later. Long sent out this tweet. An indication that all it might take is a phone call from the Bears and he’d be ready to suit up.

A Kyle Long return likely depends on the Bears

Maybe Long is just teasing people. Maybe it’s something more. The truth is the veteran made it clear that retirement was not his first choice. He felt like the Bears kind of forced him into it by their decision to move on after another injury-shortened season. His “retirement” was actually a firing and he just didn’t want to play for another team.

Back in June, when asked to come back, he made it clear he’d consider it. But only after a new coaching staff was in place. It’s clear he isn’t the biggest Matt Nagy fan these days.

So the ball is basically in the Bears’ court. Could Long help them? Sure, if he’s truly healthy. It would take him a bit of time to get back up over 300 lbs but it’s possible. Playing left guard wouldn’t be a huge adjustment for him. He was always plenty athletic and has played different positions in the past. His enthusiasm and nastiness would also be welcome additions.

Kyle Long isn’t going to be the one to reach out though. That will have to come from Nagy and the staff, which feels unlikely at this point.