Falcons: Could Kyle Long end his year-long hiatus in Atlanta?

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Following the cut of James Carpenter, Atlanta has a massive void on the offensive line at guard, and a veteran just hit the market. Former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long plans to unretire and play in the NFL in 2021.

Long announced in January of last year that he would retire after seven seasons, all in Chicago. Drafted 20th overall by the Bears in 2013, the former Oregon Duck missed only one game over his first three seasons but appeared in just 30 regular-season contests in his last four years. Before Bears fans get their hopes up, Long has already made it clear he won’t go back to the coaching staff that gave up on him.

Long has had numerous surgeries in recent years on his neck, arm, ankle, and back. He struggled to stay on the field but always seemed to play — an absolute animal when it comes to a football mindset. Long is just two seasons removed, before all the surgeries, from elite PFF grades in both run and pass blocking. With such a massive need for a starting guard opposite Chris Lindstrom, he could pique Terry Fontenot’s interest.

The decline in play can directly be attributed to the injuries, and it isn’t unheard of for a comeback similar to this to succeed. Marc Colombo unretired and played six high-quality seasons for the Cowboys to end his career after four injury-riddled seasons with the Bears, so it’s entirely possible for Long to come back and make an impact at 32-years-old.

Next is the scheme fit; Arthur Smith should value Long’s nasty attitude. Taking a shot on him in a “low-risk, high-reward” situation would be a wise move for Fontenot.

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Photo: Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire


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