There are just 22 days until the Bears take the field for their first preseason game of 2021. Just in case you were in need of a reminder.
• Name a better way to open Friday’s Bullets than this:
A little Justin Fields to get your Friday off on the right foot. pic.twitter.com/dlNpVPCsqB
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) July 23, 2021
• Come on … I dare ya!
• The NFL’s updated COVID-19 policy for game scheduling had some players pushing back. And then it had the NFLPA taking a firm stance:
The NFLPA sent this email to players in response to today’s NFL memo: pic.twitter.com/OY9Me5fzk7
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 23, 2021
• Wow! The NFLPA really dropped a “per my last email” on the players in realtime. Essentially, this is a remember, we all agreed to this when signing the CBA last offseason memo.
• I still think the NFL is missing out on a golden opportunity to provide vaccines for players, coaches, staffers, and fans arriving at training camp. But for now, I’ll give credit where it is due with the league trying its hardest to get vaccination numbers up by incentivizing vaccinations. As folks in the NFL often like to say: “Some things are bigger than football.”
• For what it’s worth, I’m glad Nick Saban didn’t doge COVID-related questions at SEC Media Day:
• In addition to saying 95 percent of his staff vaccinated, Saban mentioned 90 percent of the team’s players have received vaccination. Getting college students on the same page for anything is hard enough as it is. But considering that Alabama could roster up to 105 student-athletes, a 90 percent vaccination rate is nothing short of impressive.
• At the pro level, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seems happy with how things are going on that front:
Jerry Jones says only a “handful” of the Cowboys 90-man roster have not been vaccinated. “And a handful is five."
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) July 21, 2021
• More from Jones, via NFL Media:
“Let me say this regarding our team and its vaccines. Everybody here, including you, everybody here in what we call Tier 1, 2 or 3, is vaccinated for the most part, if you’ll give me 99 percent as for the most part, from that standpoint. There could be one or two that aren’t. From the standpoint of the players, we have what I call ‘in the pipeline’ — that’s committed but at some various stage of whether they need two vaccine shots and they have one or whether they’re waiting a period of time so that they can have their vaccine and go through the protocol. We have, out of our 90 players here, we have a handful that, in my mind, have still to commit to this. A handful — and a hand is five. Several, in my mind, in that finger of five, are on their way to potentially having their vaccine. So, that’s where we are relative to the league at some 77 percent. We’re very satisfied at where the Dallas Cowboys are as far as looking at our competition in the next few weeks ahead.
• There haven’t been any public comments from Bears upper management about this, but I’ll be curious to hear what’s up.
• Jaylon Johnson is a cornerback on the rise:
Lowest completion percentage allowed by rookie CBs last season:
Jaylon Johnson: 56.9%
Trevon Diggs: 59.2%
Noah Igbinoghene: 60.7 pic.twitter.com/22w6HVjtMF
— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) July 22, 2021
• Matt Nagy passes along his sentiments in the wake of the news of Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp died when a driver swerved into the bike lane and hit him (per NBC News):
Statement from Matt Nagy on the passing of Greg Knapp: pic.twitter.com/ANSuaQ0o3k
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 23, 2021
• There’s no smooth transition from that, so we’ll change lanes.
Source described Texas and OU’s Big 12 exit as “not imminent,” but serious. The Texas Board of Regents is leading the charge.
“No one has real answers why,” source says.
Big 12 administrators believe Texas A&M officials learned of the plot through the Board.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 23, 2021
• After playing three times in the last two years, the Saints aren’t on the Bears’ schedule for this season. But if you watch New Orleans early this season, that offense will look different than the last time you saw it:
Sources: #Saints star WR Michael Thomas is expected to miss the start of the 2021 season after undergoing surgery to repair the ligaments in his ankle in June. Based on the timing of the surgery – and recommended 4 months of recovery – Thomas could be on the sideline for weeks.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 23, 2021
• *AHEM* Bears fans who were into the story of Justin Fields latest visiting the fan who was shot and wounded, but was like I can’t die before seeing Justin Fields take the field would have an interest in this, too:
— Danny Rockett (@SonRanto) July 22, 2021
• I think the logo will look good on hats, so I approve:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 23, 2021
• It sounds like the ball is rolling on a potential deal of significance with the Blackhawks:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) July 23, 2021
• Methinks Kevin Durant appreciates Zach LaVine’s presence:
Zach LaVine Has Officially Arrived in Tokyo and Kevin Durant Looks Happyhttps://t.co/ixLGRSs0yS
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 23, 2021