The 1-2 punch of the injury report and an update of players going to the Reserve/COVID-19 list packs a wallop.
For starters, there are a whopping 13 players did not participate in Thursday’s first practice ahead of next Monday’s game against the Vikings. Of those players, eight had an “illness” designation as to why they weren’t practicing. That group includes tight ends Cole Kmet and Jesper Horsted, running backs Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery, and offensive linemen James Daniels and Teven Jenkins.
On top of that, Chicago has Andy Dalton (hand), Marquise Goodwin (foot), Jason Peters (ankle), DeAndre Houston-Carson (forearm), and Xavier Crawford (concussion) as non participants due to injuries.
And just when you thought the hits couldn’t keep coming, they do:
Bears placed on the Reserve/COVID list today:
WR Allen Robinson
TE Jesse James
S Eddie Jackson
LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe
RB Ryan Nall
WR Isaiah Coulter
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 16, 2021
It’s another wave of players landing on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Among that group of players are starters at receiver (Allen Robinson II) and safety (Eddie Jackson). And with Jesse James falling on the last, the Bears’ only tight end practicing on Thursday was Jimmy Graham. Of course, he was doing so with limitations because of a knee injury. Oof! No wonder the Bears were limited to having just a walk-through on Thursday.
As things stand now, the Bears have 11 players on the virus reserve list and three coordinators in COVID protocols. Matt Nagy is going to show up at Soldier Field looking like Will Smith in that Fresh Prince meme. You know the one where he is all alone in the empty living reflecting on everything? Yeah, photo-edit a Bears visor onto Big Willie and it’ll be spot on.
Want some good news? Fine, I can offer this much. QB Justin Fields (left hand) and DL Akiem Hicks (ankle) were full participants on Thursday. Hicks sounded ready to roll last week before a last-minute setback put him out of the lineup for the Packers game. Perhaps we’ll get Hicks’ return this week against another long-time rival? I’d love to dream on it, but it’s hard to even think about it until we get closer to game day as these injuries and illnesses elsewhere continue to pile up.
UPDATE — This feels like a helpful and important update to share:
Robinson, Jackson, Iyiegbuniwe, Nall, Borom & Burns are vaxxed. Goldman, Edwards & Wilkinson aren't. James, Coulter & Kamara are unknown. https://t.co/vtNSCcNXsy
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) December 16, 2021