It was shortly before the Bears' special teams meeting on Thursday morning when Matt Nagy made the decision to send every player home. He got the call from head trainer Andre Tucker that someone – reportedly starting center Cody Whitehair – tested positive for COVID-19, and Nagy quickly got on a team-wide Zoom call to explain the change in schedule.
"You don't know what you're going to get into this year," Nagy said. "It's too hard. No coach has any idea. No player has any idea. I think that's where you've got to have some resolve. That's where you've got to have your teamwork with your coaches, support staff and and players. That word trust is huge right now."
As things stand Thursday evening, the Bears don't know a whole lot and are saying even less. According to Nagy, the team's still in the process of confirming the positive test, along with the required contract-tracing and a "deep cleanse" of Halas Hall. They wouldn't comment on whether the player who tested positive was symptomatic, nor did they get into how many players are currently involved in the contract-tracing process. Nagy did, however, confirm that he personally was not a part of that group.
"You just stay calm and you work through it and you stay positive," he said. "That’s what we’ve done. That kinda just permeates to the team. They answer questions when they have it, and in the end they end up trusting you more. At the end you have to roll with the punches."
Once they work through the contract-tracing, Nagy said the team would have a better idea of what tomorrow's practice schedule could look like. The team was able to meet remotely on Thursday to hold meetings, but focusing on the Tennessee Titans has obviously taken a bit of a back seat.
"Again, I want to just really say that Andre Tucker has done an amazing job with this process," Nagy said. "I mean it. I think he needs to be noticed with how well he’s handling this. It can be stressful but he’s doing everything he can to make this not stressful for all of us."
One player that's reportedly in the contract-tracing process is third-string quarterback Tyler Bray. The Bears would be in a precarious position if Bray isn't available on Sunday, considering that they'll more than likely be without Mitch Trubisky – who's in Los Angeles to get a second opinion on shoulder surgery – too. It's certainly not where the team would like to be heading into the weekend, but that's a bridge the Bears will cross when they get there, Nagy said.
"When you get news like this, whether it’s the middle of the night or whether it’s early in the morning or whenever in the day, instantly you have 150 people in our building that want to know a lot of answers. And I think the biggest thing that everyone will learn in our organization is that we always put their healthy and safety first — always."