The Bears will go without one of the NFL’s top pass rushers when they face the Buccaneers on Sunday. Outside linebacker Robert Quinn, who tested positive for coronavirus Tuesday, was not cleared to fly with the team to Tampa on Saturday.
Quinn, who is thought to be vaccinated, needed to test negative twice (24 hours apart) before the deadline for the Bears to finalize their game-day roster. Now the team’s hope is that he’ll be back in time to face the 49ers next week.
Quinn and Khalil Mack are at the heart of the Bears’ defensive resurgence this season and have them atop of the NFL with 21 sacks. Mack is sixth with six, and Quinn is ninth with 5.5.
Quinn’s absence could mean Trevis Gipson gets his first career start. He has two sacks and has played 23% of the defensive snaps this season.
“He can give us snaps that we want,” defensive coordinator Sean Desai said. “He’s shown that.”