Chicago Bears see McPhee's leadership as worth the wait

Keeping outside linebacker Pernell McPhee on the physically-unable-to-perform list allows him to continue rehabilitating his surgically repaired left knee but prevents him from playing until Game 7 at the earliest.

Medically, all parties agree it was the prudent thing to do, but Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace said the defensive leader wants to be on the field with his teammates.

“You guys know his personality,” Pace said. “He's a passionate guy. He gets emotional. He's a leader on our team, whether he's playing right now or not. Sometimes I think he feels as a leader, ‘My voice carries more impact when I'm out there playing.' I think that bothers him.

“But I think that time's going to come, and he's so powerful as a person that he can still lead from the position he's in.”

While McPhee cannot practice with the team until the Monday before the seventh game, he will continue working with trainers.

“He's working really hard,” Pace said. “I still feel good about the path he's on, but right now there's not necessarily as much of a rush as there will be after Week 6.”

Taking his cuts:

Right guard Kyle Long (shoulder) was at practice Monday and expects to play Sunday, but he may have to deal with the injury and play through some pain throughout the season.

“We'll see how this goes,” Long said. “I'm a football player. I'm here to play football, and that's what I'm going to do.”

Similar to last year, when the Bears finished 6-10, the offensive line begins the season in a state of flux.

The late addition of veteran free-agent left guard Josh Sitton displaces rookie Cody Whitehair, who is now in a competition with veteran Ted Larsen for the center spot. But it makes the group much stronger.

“I try to forget about last year as much as possible,” Long said. “But one thing I learned is to control what you can control. Do your best in your situation.

“Sometimes things are going to be put in front of you that are pretty difficult, but you've got to just step up and knock it out of the park. Or swing your hardest.”

Get the knack:

Rookie cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc, undrafted out of Florida Atlantic, was a late addition to the 53-man roster after he was waived by the New England Patriots on Saturday.

“He's a guy that our college scouts liked coming out in the process, and he's a guy obviously in the preseason that just jumped out,” GM Ryan Pace said, while acknowledging that LeBlanc is a little undersized.

“He's very sticky in mirroring routes, and he's got excellent ball skills,” Pace added. “He just has a knack for going and getting the ball.”

Healing process:

Defensive lineman Ego Ferguson, who was waived injured, was placed on injured reserve following shoulder surgery. The Bears' 2014 second-round pick was hurt in the final preseason game.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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