For the second time in three months, the Chicago Bears find themselves in under the NFL’s “enhanced protocols” umbrella.
And much like things were in October, the number of players going on the Reserve/COVID-19 list are piling up:
#Bears roster moves:
We have placed NT Eddie Goldman, DB Artie Burns and LB Sam Kamara (Practice Squad) on Reserve/COVID-19.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 14, 2021
That’s three new names on the COVID reserve list for the Bears. The one with the highest profile is nose tackle Eddie Goldman. This marks Goldman’s second stint on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, with the first coming back in August. Goldman, 27, sat out the 2020 season due to concerns about playing during the coronavirus pandemic, taking advantage of the NFL’s opt-out program. And even though Goldman passed on attending mandatory minicamp, he came back for the 2021 season. An early-season injury kept him out three weeks, but hasn’t missed a game since returning in Week 4. That streak could change depending on how things go over the next few days.
Joining Goldman on the virus list are Cornerback Artie Burns and linebacker Sam Kamara. Burns, 26, has been the Bears’ starting corner opposite of Jaylon Johnson for each of the last three weeks. Losing Burns could throw the Bears’ secondary for a loop, especially with Xavier Crawford in concussion protocols. If Burns can’t go on Monday Night Football against the Vikings, then Kindle Vildor (who Burns replaced as a starter), Dee Virgin, and Thomas Graham Jr. are sensible in-house replacement options. Kamara is a practice squad player who has made appearances in five games as a rookie. But considering the Bears’ dwindling depth, a healthy practice squad body would be nice to fall back on.
News of a trio of Bears comes as the NFL continues to rack up COVID cases:
At least 62 player positives in the past two days.
From Sept. 5-Nov. 27, per NFL data: 110 player positives. https://t.co/JpF7QxiI7n
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) December 14, 2021
#Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey, on IR and out for the season, tested positive for COVID-19, source said. Another NFL big name.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 14, 2021
Rams placed 6 players on Reserve/COVID19 list:
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
NT Sebastian Joseph-Day
DB Terrell Burgess
TE Brycen Hopkins
DB JuJu Hughes
OL Alaric Jackson.
TE Tyler Higbee did in fact have a false positive, was removed from the list and is now eligible to play Sunday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 14, 2021
Ugh. This is all awful. The timing. And constant updates of new players landing in COVID protocols. It stinks. We’re heading down the stretch of the football season, and things are trending in the wrong direction across the league. Soon enough, the league will need to step in and re-think how it is handling this because of how things are looking. Hopefully, further updates bring positive developments. But as the cases pile up, I have my doubts.