Chicago Bears gear up for Minnesota without training

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To hear all of the Bears coordinators with COVID-19 talk, one of the biggest challenges this week as they try to do their jobs remotely is avoiding yawning.

They are a little bored and go crazy while waiting for the disease to end.

“I’ve watched a lot of movies and looked out the window a lot. It’s frustrating,” said special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, adding that the good weather had made him think about going out for a walk.

“It will be the big activity today,” he said.

Coordinators continue to work remotely like coach Matt Nagy did in San Francisco game week when he was sick. The challenge of getting the team ready to face Minnesota on Monday without actual training is a real challenge.

Neither Tabor nor defensive coordinator Sean Desai reported many symptoms and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor described it as akin to feeling like he has a regular chest cold.

“I’m obviously a lot sicker so hopefully this passes and I know the NFL has new comeback rules so hopefully things clear up quickly,” Lazor said.

According to a report by Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the league is considering tweaking the rules to allow vaccinated and asymptomatic players to return sooner.

Presumably, this would also apply to coaches.

To come back, the coaches and the 11 Bears who are still on the reserve / COVID-19 list must test positive twice in a day.

The Bears had 12 players with COVID-19 but recovered on a Friday when tackle Elijah Wilkinson dropped off the roster. He had been there for almost three weeks and was not part of this recent spate of cases. He could help solve the problem they face in the tackle if Jason Peters misses the game with a high ankle sprain.

NFL coaches are vaccinated unless they have a medical condition that prevents it. There is hope that with the game not expected to be played until Monday, some players and coordinators could break out of protocol and participate against the Vikings.

The real chore is making sure the players are ready to take on the Vikings without any real training. Thursday and Friday they held tours and virtual meetings, but no actual practice.

“Yeah, well, you know, we’ve been through this rodeo a bit in the last year or so,” Desai said. “And so we operate a little bit as usual that way.

“We’re doing pretty well in terms of Zoom and Zoom management, and we planned the game that way, met the staff on our normal game plan schedules, and we met the units the same way. So we kind of ran as usual. ”

Just doing guided tours can’t physically hurt anyone at this point in the year, as almost all players have some kind of pain or ache. However, a team cannot play the game virtually.

“I think you mentally know you have to be a pro on this,” said tight end Cole Kmet. “I think there is a lot you can do during the week in terms of studying film, taking tours and meeting your coaches who help you get ready.

“I think the timing is obviously never good. But you better have that in week 15, I think, or whatever it is than week 3. You know, better understanding for them. (offense) guy later in the season. ”

The Bears went with no practice and only assists before beating Detroit 16-14 at Thanksgiving. Last year they had a lot of Zoom meetings.

Some players remain positive about their return. Safety Eddie Jackson is one of those who showed little signs of showing symptoms.

“Yeah, he says he feels pretty good,” security Tashaun Gipson said. “This is one of those weird cases where a guy feels great but appears COVID positive. We spoke on Zoom today. We check out and see how these guys are feeling, him and Artie (Burns). None of these guys don’t feel bad. It’s just weird how this thing fell and hit our team. ”

The Bears have the added issue of eight players with an illness that was not COVID-19. Kmet was one of them and said he was feeling better on Friday.

“We understand that, hey, okay, there are things going on beyond our control that we can’t control,” Gipson said. “But at the same time, we have to do what we have to do to play a soccer game and win a soccer game. That’s our state of mind right now.”

It’s just that they take a different path to get there.

Twitter: BearDigest @ BearsOnMaven


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