Jimbo Covert heads into Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former Bears left tackle Jimbo Covert will take the stage Saturday night and become, officially, the 30th Bears player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. No team has more.

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Former Bears left tackle Jim Covert was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year and will be enshrined Saturday.

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Former Bears left tackle Jimbo Covert will take the stage Saturday night and become, officially, the 30th Bears player enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. No team has more.

Covert will be the ninth of 12 inductees to speak Saturday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. He’ll be introduced by former Bears running back Matt Suhey.

It will be a long time coming. Covert was elected to the Hall as part of its centennial class in January 2020. The coronavirus scuttled enshrinement plans last year.

“Waiting for so long, I think, even makes it that much sweeter,” Covert said last month.

Covert, who played for the Bears from 1983-90, was one of 20 members of the Hall’s centennial class — and one of two Bears.Defensive end Ed Sprinkle, who played from 1944-55, is one of eight posthumous inductees. He died seven years ago at age 90 in Palos Heights. Sprinkle was nicknamed “The Claw” for his vicious clothesline tackles.

Duke Slater, a Chicago Cardinals tackle from 1926-31 who was the league’s first African-American lineman, is another member of the centennial class. He was a Cook County circuit court judge from 1948-66.

The posthumous picks were officially enshrined in a ceremony April 28 but videos about their accomplishments will be interspersed between the live speeches Saturday.

Other enshrinees who will speak Saturday night are Harold Carmichael, Cliff Harris, Edgerrin James, Steve Atwayer, Paul Tagliabue, Steve Hutchinson, Donnie Shell, Isaac Bruce, Troy Polamalu, Jimmy Johnson and Bill Cowher.

Sunday, the 2021 class — highlighted by former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning — will return to the stadium for their ceremony.

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