Sidelined for two months because of a right foot injury, Long has practiced fully throughout the week and will be available for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Minnesota Vikings.
“He’s had a good week of practice,” Chicago coach Matt Nagy said Friday. “When you’re out that long and you come back, a lot of it is just getting your wind back, your conditioning back and then obviously trying to see exactly how you feel pain-wise and then health-wise as well, but he’s done a good job.”
Long was hurt in a 24-10 win over the New York Jets in Week 8. He was carted off the field and initial estimates had him set to miss six to eight weeks. Nagy does not expect Long to be limited against the Vikings.
A first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft (No. 20 overall), Long was an iron man for the Bears in his first three seasons, starting 47 games and receiving Pro Bowl honors each year. However, he has missed 21 games to injury during the past three seasons.
To clear a roster spot for Long, Chicago waived quarterback Tyler Bray.
Nelson was among three Oakland players to receive 2019 roster bonuses, according to a report by ESPN. Such a move is an indication that the team plans on retaining the player, Raiders coach Jon Gruden said.
“Normally when you hand out a bonus for next year’s season, there’s a pretty good chance those guys are coming back,” Gruden said, per the San Francisco Chronicle.
The 33-year-old Nelson, who signed a two-year deal with Oakland worth $ 14.2 million after his release by the Green Bay Packers in the offseason, received a bonus of $ 3.6 million.
Plagued by injuries during the middle portion of the season, Nelson hardly looked like a candidate to be back in Oakland after a five-game stretch in which he had a combined five receptions for 36 yards.
However, in four December games, Nelson has come alive with 29 catches for 308 yards, although he has not reached the end zone since Week 5. For the season, he has 54 catches for 661 yards and three scores.