Bears

Bears waive LB Khaseem Greene, add QB Pat Devlin

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Bears waive LB Khaseem Greene, add QB Pat Devlin

Linebacker Khaseem Greene, the Bears’ fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft, has been waived as part of roster moves that give the Bears another young quarterback going into phase two of the team’s offseason program.

The Bears signed tryout quarterback Pat Devlin from Delaware to a one-year contract, and defensive tackle Terry Williams and linebacker Kyle Woestmann to three-year deals. Devlin, Williams and Woestmann all made the current roster, now at 89 players, with performances as tryouts at last week’s rookie minicamp.

The Greene move follows the trade of wide receiver Brandon Marshall as the incoming staff adjusts the roster left over from the Phil Emery era. Veteran center Roberto Garza and safety Anthony Walters were released previously.

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Greene appeared in 25 games with six starts over two seasons (2013-14), collecting 60.5 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble to go along with seven special-teams stops. But he was unable to demonstrate impact ability in his few starts and did not show enough on special teams or in the voluntary veterans minicamp last month.

Devlin, 6-3, 220 pounds, spent four years with the Dolphins (2011-13) and Vikings (2014). He spent a majority of his 2011 rookie season on the Dolphins practice squad and was on Miami’s 53-man roster for all of 2012 and 2013 but was inactive each game. He also spent the final eight weeks of the 2014 regular season on the Vikings practice squad after being released by Miami in August.

He demonstrated both arm strength and touch on deep throws during the minicamp, capped off by a 30-yard hookup with rookie wideout Kevin White. Devlin played at Penn State from 2006-08, then transferred to Delaware a year after Joe Flacco left for the NFL.

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Williams, at 6 feet, 329 pounds, will work at nose tackle after three standout seasons at the position for East Carolina, where he was a teammate of undrafted free agent quarterback Shane Carden.

Woestmann appeared in 49 games with 24 starts in four seasons (2011-14) at Vanderbilt, putting together 100 tackles, 13 sacks, 20.5 tackles for losses, five forced fumbles and three pass break-ups. Woestmann was a team-captain as a senior, starting 11 contests and recording 30 tackles, one sack, 5.5 TFLs and a forced fumble. 

Ryan Pace finds silver lining in social distancing at Halas Hall

Ryan Pace finds silver lining in social distancing at Halas Hall

Bears general manager Ryan Pace, like everyone else in the United States right now, is doing his best to do his job in what's become a bizarre new normal of social distancing. Fortunately for him and the rest of the team's staff and players, Halas Hall is well-equipped to handle COVID-19's challenges.

The renovations at Halas Hall couldn't have come at a better time. The more expansive campus provides the Bears with the space needed to keep the players and coaches as safe as possible. For Pace, it offers a greater opportunity to appreciate the little things while catching a meal with Matt Nagy.

“So the last two nights, we discovered how nice it is,” Pace said, via MMQB. “You sit out there, and it forces you to take a different vantage point during the day. Beautiful view, and it’s pretty peaceful.”

As Albert Breer pointed out, Pace and Nagy's view includes four outdoor practice fields and a couple of ponds. Not too shabby.

The most important takeaway isn't the landscape. Instead, it's safety. 

NFL players have until Thursday to decide whether they'll opt-out of the 2020 season, and for teams that are lacking the facilities Chicago has, it's more likely high-risk players or those with families at high-risk will choose to sit out the season.

Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman and safety Jordan Lucas have decided to opt out this year, and there's a chance more will do the same. 

Pace is confident in Chicago's COVID-19 plan. We'll see if the players are too.

For now, Pace is finding comfort in the little things. 

NFC North: Lions issue statement on Matthew Stafford, COVID-19 test

NFC North: Lions issue statement on Matthew Stafford, COVID-19 test

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was removed from the team's COVID-IR list on Tuesday, the team announced via Twitter, after the 12-year pro tested negative three times for the novel coronavirus.

Stafford can now report to training camp, take his physical and begin preparing for the 2020 season with his teammates. 

MMQB's Albert Breer reported Monday that Stafford tested positive for COVID-19 but was asymptomatic. The Lions insist Stafford never had the virus but instead had a false-positive result. 

This is obviously great news for the Lions but is also a stark reminder of how volatile the COVID-19 testing process will be during the 2020 season. It's also a warning for teams to have a plan in place in the event their starting quarterback contracts the virus. Detroit signed Chase Daniel this offseason to serve as Stafford's primary backup. He served in that capacity for the Bears over the last two seasons and was serviceable in his role.

Chicago has a full-blown quarterback battle underway in training camp between Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky, which means there's no choice but to have both players in somewhat close-ish proximity to each other. As a result, the risk of quarterback-to-quarterback transmission of COVID-19 is high. The Bears may have no choice but to keep Tyler Bray, who's currently listed as the team's QB3, in bubble wrap, as our JJ Stankevitz suggested here.

Stafford won't be the last high-profile player to register a false-positive result this summer. The NFL must make sure their testing protocols are sound enough to get this right, otherwise, the 2020 season will implode.