Nose tackle Eddie Goldman sat out last season because of coronavirus concerns. Now it’s fair to wonder if he’ll play in the season opener.
Goldman did not practice Wednesday because of knee and ankle injuries. He was not spotted on the field or off to the side during the portion of practice open to the media.
Goldman was in attendance at the walkthrough Monday but was not at the previous practice Thursday.
He has had an unusual 18 months. After sitting out in 2020, Goldman became the only Bear not to report for mandatory minicamp. He reported to training camp without being vaccinated — and landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list a few weeks later after testing positive. He missed 10 days.
Goldman played in the Bears’ last preseason game against the Titans even though most other starters didn’t. His 10 snaps were his first game action of any sort since the 2019 season.
Defensive coordinator Sean Desai said Wednesday that he was pleased with Goldman’s play in camp.
“He came back in shape — mentally in shape and physically in shape,” he said. “And you saw . . . in preseason [Game] 3 when he played that he can still be an X-factor when he’s in there in the game for the limited reps that he was there. So it was fun to see.”
The Bears brought in reinforcements before practice, signing defensive tackle Margus Hunt and nose tackle Damion Square to the practice squad.
Hunt, a 6-8, 295-pounder, started 26 games in nine seasons. He played with the Bengals, who drafted him in the second round, from 2013 to 2016, then with the Colts from 2017 to 2019. He played for the Bengals again and the Saints in 2020.
Square started 24 games in seven seasons, the first with the Eagles and the last six with the Chargers.
The Bears need defensive-line depth the first two weeks. Mario Edwards is suspended for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy but will return in Week 3.
Three starters were listed as limited in practice. Khalil Mack has a groin injury, and fellow outside linebacker Robert Quinn is still dealing with a sore back that dates to the spring.
Wide receiver Darnell Mooney also was limited because of a back problem. Inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe was limited with a shoulder injury.
The severity of the injuries is unclear, though all four were in attendance during the media portion of practice. Coach Matt Nagy talked all preseason about being deliberate with veterans’ load management in practice to keep them as healthy as possible during the season.
This and that
Tight end Jimmy Graham was the only other Bear, besides Goldman, to miss practice. It was not injury-related; he got a veteran day off.
- Inside linebacker Danny Trevathan changed his number from 59 to 6, taking advantage of a new NFL rule that allows single-digit numbers beyond the quarterback, kicker and punter positions.