It has been worrisome to see the Bears’ list of non-participants at practice because of various injuries, ailments, and issues. But some positive news is here and I’m ready to embrace it.
Well, embrace it from a socially acceptable distance:
We have activated Elijah Wilkinson, Christian Jones & Patrick Scales from the reserve/COVID-19 list.https://t.co/DVlCqHU8Wq
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 9, 2021
Long-snapper Patrick Scales, linebacker Christian Jones, and offensive tackle Elijah Wilkinson are re-joining the active roster. The trio of Bears are being activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 List, less than one week after being put there in the fist place.
The return of these players helps on multiple fronts.
For starters, Chicago’s banged up offensive line gets Wilkinson back after diving down the depth chart’s deepest parts. Jones re-joins a linebacker group that is seeing Alec Ogletree intercepting passes at a dizzying rate. And perhaps the most important member of this group is Scales. Hey, don’t smirk because I’m elevating the importance of a long-snapper. The Bears finally have a kicking mechanism in which all three parts are functioning at a high level. I don’t take that for granted. And neither should Bears fans who value the importance of excellence in special teams play. Plus, as an added bonus, Cole Kmet (who has been working as a long-snapper in Scales’ absence) goes back to full-time tight end duties. All reps matter for a young, developing tight end, so it is good to see he won’t be splitting time with long-snapper activities moving forward.
Only one Bears player — nose tackle Eddie Goldman — remains on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Goldman, 27, sat out last year due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. And after missing mandatory minicamp with an unexcused absence in June, Goldman came back to the Bears at the start of training camp. Unfortunately, he found himself out of action because of his placement on that reserve/COVID list. Ideally, Goldman can re-join his teammates sooner, rather than later. In the meantime, Bilal Nichols, Mike Pennel, and Khyiris Tonga are in a position to take those practice reps while Goldman is out.