The Chicago Bears will embark on a critical stretch without their star offensive lineman.

Bears guard Kyle Long will miss six to eight weeks after suffering a foot injury late in Chicago’s win over the New York Jets on Sunday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Long is a candidate to be placed on injured reserve and designated to return.

After missing just one game in his first three seasons, Long has struggled with injuries over the past three years, missing 14 games in 2016 and 2017 due to serious ankle, shoulder, neck and elbow surgeries.

Rookie guard James Daniels could take Long’s spot at right guard going forward, but Chicago could also utilize Bryan Witzmann, who started with the Chiefs when Bears coach Matt Nagy was calling plays there.

The Bears did not make any moves ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline to address the injury.

If Long does miss eight weeks, the guard would be set to return just in time for Chicago’s season finale against the Minnesota Vikings. But the long-tenured Bear will have missed the all-important playoff run, one that includes five divisional games and a clash with the currently undefeated Rams. Locked in a tight NFC North race, the 4-3 Bears can’t afford to start losing critical pieces.

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