Bears

Here's how Bears are dealing with their first COVID-19 case

Bears

On Saturday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Bears were dealing with their first case of COVID-19: 

Per NFL protocols, the Bears didn't officially disclose who had tested positive. It was easy to put two and two together, though, when they subsequently announced that undrafted rookie Badara Traore had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. On Monday, Nagy confirmed that Traore had tested positive and gave an update about his condition. 

"I haven’t talked to him in a couple days, but I think he’s doing pretty good," he said. "More than anything, when you are in these positions, just from talking to him, he feels bad because he has no idea when it happened or anything like that." 

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Nagy said that he first learned about Traore's positive test late last week. Though the team continues to work through the all the logistics that come with a confirmed positive, they're cautiously optimistic that they've avoided an outbreak for a couple of reasons: practice squad members aren't permitted on the sideline during games, so Traore's recent exposure to the bulk of the roster has been minimal. The schedule also worked out in their favor; because the Bears played on Thursday night, most players and coaches have been off – and away from Halas Hall – since the middle of last week. 

 

"The timing of this, what happened with our positive test – you know, you never want it to happen, but when it did happen, it happened at a good time for us because we had guys out of the building, which is good," Nagy said. "So that part is good. Now what's important is you've got to make sure that just because things are going well the last couple of days – in regards to results – you want to make sure that that continues to go here for the next several days, to kind of get through the incubation period, per say. So that's kind of where we are right now, and so far so good." 

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As for this coming week, the Bears have already made plenty of on-the-fly adjustments to their standard routine, all of which were discussed in a team-wide Zoom call on Sunday night. Practice squad members have been instructed to stay home, and Monday's "10-10-10" session – which normally features the 53-man roster and scout team playing together – was scrapped for a light walk-through and some conditioning. Players won't report to Halas Hall on Tuesday, but Nagy expects that the team will be back out on the field for a "normal" practice on Wednesday. Still, even with all the obligatory steps being taken, it's clear that this will be one of the more unnerving weeks at Halas in a long time.

"It’s a tough time for everybody, and even though we’re in our football world, we still deal with real-world problems and real-world issues," Akiem Hicks said. "We’re doing our best to stay safe and continue to live our lives and work and handle our profession. It’s a troubling time. It’s frustrating and it can be scary at times, but all you can do is do your best and continue to live.”

"It’s pretty scary," Allen Robinson added. "You just kind of think back as far as, who that player has been around, things like that. Because you’ve seen cases pop up through teams that haven’t even been in the facility, but kept seeing it pop up and things like that. So it’s scary.

"All you can kind of do is keep your fingers crossed that this is the last and only person."