Eddie Goldman eager to take the next step back

The Bears’ nose tackle was encouraged after shaking off some rust in his first regular-season game since 2019. “When I looked at the film, I realized I got better as the game went on,” he said.

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Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman (91) felt good about his first regular-season game Sunday against the Lions after missing the 2020 season. “Nothing surprised me,” he said.

Nam Huh/AP Photos

Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman felt rusty in his first regular-season game since the 2019 season Sunday against the Lions. He left the field feeling a little disappointed.

‘‘But after looking at the film, it wasn’t too bad,’’ Goldman said. ‘‘I realized I got better as the game went on.’’

Goldman is looking forward to getting back into his regular groove in his second game back Sunday against the Raiders in Las Vegas. The stat sheet never does justice to Goldman, the ultimate dirty-work guy, but he was totally shut out against the Lions.

‘‘I feel great that he was able to step in and play, and he showed some production and will continue to get better,’’ defensive coordinator Sean Desai said. ‘‘That’s the great thing about a guy like him.’’

The Bears will need Goldman to be an even bigger factor with defensive end Akiem Hicks doubtful with a groin injury and unlikely to play. Considering Goldman hadn’t played since Week 16 of the 2019 season, the Lions game was a good first step.

‘‘It was just getting back in the swing of things,’’ Goldman said. ‘‘It was good — getting the play-call, looking at my keys to read, stuff like that. It was fast but not too fast.’’

Goldman was encouraged overall. He recalled a few plays he missed against the Lions that he knows he’ll be able to make when he’s back in his usual rhythm.

‘‘I had one of them but not too many,’’ he said. ‘‘[On one] I could have used my hands better. And I said it in my mind. I was like, ‘I would make that play if I used my hands.’ ’’

The challenge will be bigger if Hicks can’t play. When the Bears played the Raiders in London in 2019, Hicks suffered a dislocated elbow on the eighth play. Josh Jacobs rushed 26 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders’ 24-21 victory.

‘‘If Akiem don’t play, somebody has to fill that role,’’ Goldman said, ‘‘because he’s a presence.’’

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