A much-maligned Chicago Bears tight ends room will have one fewer body to throw out into the formation.
Coach Nagy announced that Jimmy Graham has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 22, 2021
Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy told reporters Jimmy Graham is going on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Graham joins pass-rusher Robert Quinn and running back Damien Williams as being on the list. The status for all three players for Sunday’s game is up-in-the-air.
For what it’s worth, Graham is vaccinated — has he pointed out during the summer while airing out some grievances with the NFLPA’s handling of disclosing COVID protocols. But landing on the COVID reserve list this late in the week isn’t great for Graham’s chances to play. Remember, Graham will have to come up with two negative tests at least 24 hours apart. That seems like a tight squeeze.
It’s not as if Graham was a key cog in the Bears’ offense. Then again, it is hard to be that when you’re on the field for just 30 percent of the team’s offensive plays. So, in a sense, the Bears won’t be missing someone who figures to be a major part of this week’s game plan. But still … Graham was a functional player, even if under-utilized. This is where I’d be upset about losing Graham, whose red-zone prowess could be useful. But the team doesn’t get into the red zone often enough to put Graham in the best place to be successful.
Should Graham be unable to play, then the Bears will lean on Cole Kmet, Jesse James, and Jesper Horsted at the position. Maybe we’ll even see more of offensive lineman Alex Bars masquerading in the tight end role as a blocker. More to come later.