The Chicago Bears have held defensive lineman workouts twice in the last three weeks. And because the NFL’s first injury report of the year won’t be ready util later this afternoon, we were only able to speculate as to why the Bears would bring in six defensive linemen in a three-week span.
But now, we’re beginning to get some clarity. And at first blush, it’s not the good kind:
#Bears roster moves:
We have released DT Auzoyah Alufohai and RB Artavis Pierce from the practice squad, and have signed DT Margus Hunt and NT Damion Square to the practice squad.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) September 8, 2021
There is word circulating that Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is dealing with an injury. Not sure what that means for his status yet vs. the Rams or beyond. But the Bears recently worked out three defensive linemen. The first injury report for the week comes out later today.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) September 8, 2021
A mere 15 minutes after The Athletic’s Adam Jahns hears that nose tackle Eddie Goldman is “dealing with an injury,” the Bears made transaction action. The team cut defensive tackle Auzoyah Alufohai and running back Artavis Pierce from the practice squad, and in their place, brought in defensive linemen Marcus Hunt and Damion Square. Sure, Jahns’ tweet about Goldman’s injury status was vague, but I feel as if the timing of this transaction (and the players jumping onto the practice squad) speaks volumes as to what’s happening here. Gulp!
It is troubling to see the Bears already battling the injury bug. And particularly along the defensive line. For starters, the team is already down a defensive lineman with Mario Edwards Jr. serving a two-game suspension. Secondly, rookie Khyiris Tonga is the only true backup nose tackle on the active 53-player roster. Don’t get me wrong. I like what Tonga flashed at training camp and put on tape during his preseason debut. But Goldman represents a skillset rarely found in players at his position. It is one reason he is seen as one of the league’s best nose tackles. So even if Tonga can hold it down in a pinch, we’re still looking at a drop-off from a player with a lengthy résumé that shows he can get it done at the professional level.
We’ll get the first injury report of the year later today. From there, we’ll gain more clarity on the situation. Hopefully, it will come with some good news.