The Bears announced on Sunday that they placed two more players on the reseve/COVID-19 list: starting right tackle Elijah Wilkinson, and linebacker and core special teams player Caleb Johnson. The virus has started to work its way through Halas Hall as Wilkinson and Johnson mark the fifth and sixth people the Bears have had to put into COVID-19 protocols over the past two weeks.
Currently, the Bears have Wilkinson, Johnson, Robert Quinn, Jimmy Graham and wide receivers coach Mike Furrey all in the COVID-19 protocol. Damien Williams was also shelved due to the virus and missed the team’s Week 6 game against the Packers, however he was activated from the list on Saturday.
This is Wilkinson’s second stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He missed time in training camp as a close contact of someone who had tested positive.
Despite several players and one coach all dealing with the virus, Matt Nagy isn’t convinced the spread of the disease is coming from within the building.
“I don’t know for sure other than I think it’s just one of those deals where it probably comes from different sources,” Nagy said earlier this week. “But I don’t know that either way
“Really for us the mindset heading into this was knowing that you still have, 'Hey, you need to wear your mask.' You need to be able to follow the protocol that they have.”
The Bears signed Wilkinson over the offseason to compete at left tackle with rookie Teven Jenkins. But when Jenkins got hurt and Wilkinson wasn’t getting the job done the Bears brought in Jason Peters to fill the position. But Wilkinson had worked himself back into a starting job, at right tackle, when Germain Ifedi hit IR. Now the Bears will turn to a third-string right tackle against the Bucs.