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2020 NFL Draft: Coronavirus prompts Bears to consider working from home

The NFL Draft is proceeding on schedule for April 23-25, and every team in the league must adjust to the closure of their facilities.

GM Ryan Pace and the Bears have never had draft plans altered like they will be this year.
GM Ryan Pace and the Bears have never had draft plans altered like they will be this year.
Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

With the NFL still deciding whether teams will be allowed to run their draft operations from their headquarters, the Bears are exploring alternate venues or going fully digital with staff working from home because of the coronavirus.

“The [preference] would be Halas with a limited number of people,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “The other would be an offsite location, which we’re establishing several options right now. The third would be operating from our homes, which there would be some challenges with that.”

The draft remains scheduled for April 23-25. The Bears have seven selections, beginning with the 43rd overall pick.

Pace and coach Matt Nagy spoke highly about working remotely. The team went through most of free agency and offseason planning from their homes, and Nagy is prepared for the cancelation of OTAs.

“I have my office here at my house and I have four different computers going,” Nagy said. “We’ve gotta adapt and figure out solutions. We can’t complain. You’re not gonna be standing there in front of 30-60 players speaking your team message for the day. You’re gonna have to rely on them looking at it online.”

No one so far has tested positive for the virus within the organization. Nagy said the one person he knows who has it is his great aunt, who is in her 90s and lives in Pennsylvania.

Forgetting Floyd

Pace said little about former first-round pick Leonard Floyd, whom he cut last month after 18½ sacks in four seasons. The Bears let him go to make room for veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn.

“Acquiring Robert is not necessarily a knock on Leonard,” said Pace, who traded up to take Floyd No. 9 overall. “It’s just doing what we feel is best for our team.”

Quinn outdid Floyd’s career in 2013 alone with 19 sacks.

Ongoing rehab

The only players the team can work with are those doing medical rehabilitation, which includes quarterback Mitch Trubisky, linebacker Roquan Smith, tight end Trey Burton and receiver Anthony Miller.

All of them are continuing to receive treatment, and Pace said they remain on track to be ready for the scheduled start of training camp.