Last Tuesday the Bears placed Elijah Wilkinson, Christian Jones, Patrick Scales and Eddie Goldman on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and one week later only Goldman remains on that list. As the one Bears player to opt out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, all eyes will be on Goldman to see when he comes back, but at least for now, Matt Nagy says he’s not too concerned about his game-changing nose tackle.
“You know, maybe I'm wrong for this but I really, I don't have any stress about it,” Nagy said. “I really don't. I think he's been great. He's been in communication with our coaches... trying to make sure he's able to stay in shape with any equipment he needs to do. Whatever it is, just on his own, just stay in shape. That's all you can ask for.
“I just know the confidence that he gave me was when he came in here and just was the same old Eddie. You never know, being off like that. Like, is he going to be way out of shape? Is his mind going to be in it? He couldn't have been any better.”
We know now that Wilkinson, Jones and Scales are all vaccinated since they were activated off of the reserve/COVID-19 list before 10 days. Unvaccinated players are required to stay on the list for 10 days after a positive test. Vaccinated players on the other hand can return to the team as soon as they return two negative tests, at least 24 hours apart.
There’s at least one hint that suggests Goldman is vaccinated, although we still don’t know that for sure: the fact that he was unmasked for his first press conference back at Halas Hall. Unvaccinated players are still required to wear a mask at all times inside Halas Hall. If they don’t they’re subject to a nearly $15,000 fine.
Regardless of Goldman's vaccination status, Nagy has tried to find the silver lining through his extended absence.
"It's a learning tool for all of us, for everybody in a lot of different areas," Nagy said. "And now we're able to be better from it and he'll get back here hopefully sometime.”
Of course Nagy realizes that if this was going to happen, it’s better that it happened over the summer. “I'm just glad this happened now and not in the season.”