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Bears’ Mario Edwards one of 37 NFL players to test positive for coronavirus

The Bears put the defensive end on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. Edwards is unvaccinated, meaning that he must sit for 10 days — and miss the game Monday night against the Vikings.

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
Bears defensive lineman Mario Edwards reacts after tackling Aaron Rodgers in October.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The NFL had 37 players test positive for COVID-19 on Monday, with Bears defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. being one of them.

The Bears put Edwards on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. Edwards is unvaccinated, meaning he must sit out for 10 days and miss Monday night’s game against the Vikings.

More players tested positive Monday than between Nov. 14-27. According to NFL test result and vaccination data, 29 players tested positive during that two-week span.

The Bears were one of five teams put in enhanced league protocols, which requires daily testing and masking for all players, regardless of vaccination status, according to ESPN. Teams must distance players during meetings and meals.

Edwards played 19 snaps against the Packers. He has 1½ sacks this season, all in Week 3 against the Browns. Edwards joins offensive tackle Elijah Wilkinson, who is also unvaccinated, on the list. Wilkinson was put on the list Nov. 26 and has yet to return to the active roster.

The NFL sent a memo to all teams late Monday requiring coaches and team and league staffers to receive a booster vaccine by Dec. 27.

As of Dec. 2, 94.4% of all NFL players — and nearly 100% of coaches and staff members — were vaccinated.

Roquan’s status

Inside linebacker Roquan Smith aggravated the same hamstring injury Sunday that took him out of the Thanksgiving game against the Lions, coach Matt Nagy said.

“We’ll keep an eye on it,” Nagy said. “But he just felt something there, so we want to be smart.”

Smith recovered quickly after the Lions game, appearing in practice only eight days after getting hurt and playing against the Cardinals two days after that.

Safety DeAndre Houston-Carson’s season is over, Nagy said, after he broke his forearm against the Packers. He’ll be put on injured reserve.

Cornerback Xavier Crawford is in the concussion protocol after getting hit by safety Eddie Jackson while trying to play coverage Sunday. Nose tackle Khyiris Tonga left the game with a stinger.

Nagy said the Bears will keep monitoring backup quarterback Andy Dalton’s injured left hand this week “and see where he’s at with the swelling and pain.”

Hicks closer

Despite Akiem Hicks saying his plan was to try to play against the Packers, the Bears ruled out the defensive tackle Saturday afternoon. Hicks hasn’t played since spraining his ankle Nov. 8 in Pittsburgh.

Nagy said Hicks could return Monday night to face the Vikings.

“We’re really close,” he said. “Now hopefully we can be closer this week.”

This and that

On Sunday, receiver Jakeem Grant became the first Bears player in almost 11 years to catch a touchdown pass and return a punt for a score in the same game. Devin Hester had a 64-yard punt return and 14-yard touchdown catch Dec. 20, 2010, against the Vikings.

• The second quarter featured five touchdowns of 35 yards or more. That had never happened in the history of the NFL’s scoring data, which dates to 1925.