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Another One: Bears Starting RT Elijah Wilkinson Hits the Reserve/COVID-19 List

Chicago Bears

As if things weren’t challenging enough facing Tom Brady in a revenge game, facing a Todd Bowles defense that will blitz and pressure opposing QBs until the cows come home will be that much tougher as yet another Bears player lands on the COVID reserve list.

Nearly three hours before kickoff, the Bears announced offensive lineman Elijah Wilkinson is going on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. In a corresponding move, the team is adding fellow offensive lineman Arlington Hambright to the active roster for game day. Chicago has now flexed Hambright, DL Margus Hunt, and OL Dieter Eiselen as COVID-related roster replacements. And as things stand currently, the Bears have put five players on the COVID reserve list in the last 14 days. The outbreak is real and the timing is as bad as it gets.

And to think, Wilkinson was set to start at right tackle for Germain Ifedi. Wilkinson was in last week for Ifedi, who is on IR and has been out of action since the Bears’ win in Las Vegas. This leaves Chicago’s football team scrambling for answers in the trenches.

Lachavious Simmons and Alex Bars are the most likely to start at right tackle. Bars has extensive starting experience from playing at right guard at the end of last year. And with three healthy tight ends, won’t need him to masquerade at that position as an eligible lineman. Simmons has one offensive snap in the pros since entering the league as a seventh round in 2020. And as a developmental project, it would be a mistake to put too much on his plate. With that in mind, maybe it might be a good idea to use extra heavy packages to beef up protection when necessary today. Even if it will mean one fewer route-runner going out into a pattern.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.