If you thought the Bears defense was going to return to its dominant form this year, you weren’t alone. There were several reasons why expectations were high, but one of the biggest reasons was the return of nose tackle Eddie Goldman. The defense clearly missed his presence in the middle of their defense when he opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. The idea was he could clog up running lanes and push the pocket from the middle of the line again, and some even believed he could be even better after taking a year away from the game and letting his body recover even better from the continuous blows lineman sustain.
But things didn’t play out that way. Goldman skipped out on mandatory minicamp before reporting to training camp. But one week after rejoining the team he was out again, on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He wasn’t done with setbacks however. After his time in the COVID-19 protocols, Goldman missed more practice with a combination of ankle and knee injuries.
After all that, Goldman didn’t end up playing for the Bears until Week 4. But even then, his defensive lineman coach Chris Rumph questions whether Goldman was playing at 100% capacity.
"He wasn't back,” Rumph said. “Sometimes you just hear the name and think the name is enough. As you find out, he wasn't totally back. And then had other guys injured, so those guys were never really able to groove together. Now he's clicking and starting to feel it and get his legs back under him. It will be exciting going forward.”
It was evident that Goldman was starting to “feel it” as Rumph said, against the Steelers last week. He was getting off blocks, penetrating into the backfield and finished the game with a season-high four tackles.
“It was his best game,” Rumph said. “He looked dominant out there... I tell those guys all the time 'Just make your plays. If you make your plays, that's enough. Don't go out there and try to mow someone else's grass.' I thought he handled his business real well, it was good to see him.
“Now it's time for him to put a couple games back-to-back. I think his legs are starting to get back to him, he's starting to get a feel for it a little bit. We will see what happens this week but all indications are he will continue to get better.”