Injuries and COVID issues are teaming up to give an already banged up Bears bunch more issues ahead of their Monday Night Football matchup against the Vikings.
But reinforcements could be on the way:
Nagy also says they are opening 3-week window for veteran T Germain Ifedi and nickel CB Duke Shelley. Not sure where they will be at in terms of availability this week. @WBBMNewsradio
— Jeff Joniak (@JeffJoniak) December 16, 2021
Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy told reporters the team was opening the 21-day practice window for offensive tackle Germain Ifedi and cornerback Duke Shelley. This mechanism opens the door for the return of both players, who are currently on injured reserve. Ifedi has been out since suffering a knee injury against the Raiders in Week 5. Since Ifedi’s absence, we’ve seen Lachavious Simmons, Alex Bars, and Larry Borom get playing time at right tackle. As for Shelley, his trip to IR due to a hamstring issue has kept him out since the start of Week 12. Artie Burns and Xavier Crawford have seen an increase in playing time since Shelley was put on IR.
I suppose the good news here is that the Bears could get two players who were in the starting lineup at the beginning of the year to return for MNF.
Getting Ifedi back on the field could provide some stability along the offensive line. Stability would be nice. The Bears have one tackle (Borom) on the reserve/COVID-19 list and another (Jenkins) missing practice due to illness. So, let’s not overlook the value of stability. Meanwhile, putting Shelley back in the lineup would give Chicago three healthy cornerbacks on the active roster. And that’s not inconsequential, especially for a team that could be in a position to flex multiple defensive backs from the practice squad to the active game day roster. Then again, Shelley was struggling mightily for most of the season when he was healthy. Opposing quarterbacks have put up a 104.4 passer rating when targeting Shelley this season. But I guess having healthy Bears defenders is better than the alternative of not having any defenders.
Even still … it just feels all so overwhelming. But at this point, any healthy Bears bodies are good ones. Even if they’re coming off injuries of their own.