Bears notebook: Eddie Goldman opts out of minicamp

Matt Nagy called it an unexcused absence, but expects Goldman to be at training camp in July; The rest of the defense that missed OTAs — plus disgruntled wide receiver Allen Robinson — returned for minicamp.

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Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman (91) was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2019.

Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman (91) was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2019.

Amr Alfiky/AP

Nose tackle Eddie Goldman was a surprising no-show at Bears minicamp Tuesday. Coach Matt Nagy called it an unexcused absence but said he expects Goldman to return for training camp in July.

Goldman, a Pro Bowl alternate in 2019, opted out of the 2020 season because of concerns about the coronavirus. General manager Ryan Pace, Nagy and first-year defensive coordinator Sean Desai all indicated they expected Goldman to be on board for the 2021 season. So Nagy was disappointed that he wasn’t on the field Tuesday at Halas Hall.

Nagy did not divulge a reason why Goldman opted to sit out minicamp. He said he did not know if it was related to the coronavirus concerns that kept Goldman out last season.

“We did have a discussion with him [Monday],” Nagy said. “Obviously I’m going to keep that between us. But we do expect him to be at training camp rocking and rolling.”

Nagy said he does not think Goldman’s status for training camp, or the 2021 season for that matter, is in doubt. “Obviously when someone is not in minicamp, that’s probably what a lot of people will think and start wondering what the deal is — and that’s natural,” Nagy said. “But we fully expect him to be there.”

Band back together

As expected, outside linebacker Khalil Mack, defensive end Akiem Hicks, cornerback Eddie Jackson and the rest of the defensive starters showed up for the mandatory minicamp after not participating in the voluntary OTA [organized team activities] portion of the offseason program. Linebacker Roquan Smith and cornerback Desmond Trufant were the only defensive starters who participated in OTAs.

Outside linebacker Robert Quinn, though, was held out of on-field work because of a lower-back issue “that we’re just trying not to mess with too much,” Nagy said. “We’re probably more conservative on that than anything.”

A-Rob is back

Wide receiver Allen Robinson, who boycotted the voluntary offseason program after being given the franchise tag for the 2021 season, was an enthusiastic participant Tuesday.

“It was really good [to see him out there],” Nagy said. “The one sneaky thing about A-Rob that I think is pretty cool is No. 1, even if he’s not here, you know he’s working his tail off; and No. 2, he’s always in great shape and we noticed that [Tuesday].”

Bits and pieces ...

With the Bears working on the far field behind the Payton Center — away from the media viewing area — veteran wide receiver Marquise Goodwin appeared to be the star of the day, flashing his sub-4.3 40 speed on two long touchdown catches from Andy Dalton. … Tight end Sal Cannella, a former teammate of Cole Kmet’s at St. Viator who played at Auburn, was among five tryout players at minicamp. Former Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines, former Broncos tight end Jake Butt, former Chiefs defensive tackle Mike Pennel and offensive tackle Tyrone Wheatley Jr. also are getting looks.

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