LAKE FOREST – Already the Bears’ roster has been hit hard by COVID-19 cases this week and now the coaching staff is dealing with it as well.
During his news conference on Thursday morning, Bears head coach Nagy announced that all three of the team’s coordinators – Bill Lazor (offense), Sean Desai (defense), and Chris Tabor (special teams) – have been placed in the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol.
The Bears face the Vikings on Monday night at Soldier Field in what will be the fourth-to-last game of their season after losing to the Packers on Sunday night. Nagy wasn’t sure if any of the coordinators would be available for the Week 15 game.
Per the NFL virus rules, if the coaches are vaccinated, they can return to the team if they have two negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart. If unvaccinated, they must isolate for ten days before returning to the team.
In late October, Nagy tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to miss the team’s Week 8 game against the 49ers at Soldier Field, which the team lost 33-22 on October 31st.
“You have to make sure that, through the coordinators, they have to Zoom, which is what I did. You have to make sure that when you’re Zooming, the only difference is that they’re not there in person, that’s really the biggest difference,” said Nagy. “When you go out to practice they’re not there. It just creates a little bit more for you for the backup plan of however that is, whether it’s game day, whether it’s the day of practice, or whether it’s in meetings.”
“There’s somethings you’ve to work through.”
As with many teams in the NFL this week, COVID-19 cases tests have taken a number of players off the field. Just this week, offensive right tackle Larry Borom, cornerback Artie Burns, defensive end Mario Edwards Jr, nose tackle Eddie Goldman, and linebacker Sam Kamara (practice squad) have been put in the league’s protocol. Offensive tackle Elijah Wilkinson has been on the COVID-19 list since November 26th.
Because of these recent cases, the Bears will be holding just a walkthrough practice at Halas Hall on Wednesday afternoon.
“Obviously, this is not a Chicago Bears thing,” said Nagy. “This is throughout not just the league but the world. So that’s been the biggest message for us as we got through what we’re going through right now with some of these illnesses whether it’s the flu or whether it’s COVID; whatever it is, it’s cold and flu season.
“All of that combined, we’re just trying to make sure we do everything as best we can.”