REPORT: Chicago Bears Slammed With Two More COVID Cases

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Aug 14, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears offensive tackle Elijah Wilkinson (70) blocks Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Shaquem Griffin (53) as quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws a pass during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears have already suffered a number of key losses in the past couple of weeks to COVID-19. It started with wide receivers coach Mike Furrey and running back Damien Williams. Then edge rusher Robert Quinn got hit too. These were the first indications the Bears might have an outbreak on their hands. First, word dropped on Sunday that rookie linebacker and special teams ace Caleb Johnson went on the COVID list. Now he’ll be joined by backup right tackle Elijah Wilkinson.

The timing of this is brutal for the Bears. They were already without Germain Ifedi due to a knee injury. Now they’ll be forced to go with their third option in Tampa Bay against star pass rusher Shaq Barrett. This could get ugly for Justin Fields. The Buccaneers front seven is one of the best in the game and Chicago will try to counter them with a makeshift offensive line. Injuries are one thing but a COVID outbreak makes it worse.

This is a rough situation.

While most of the Chicago Bears roster is reportedly vaccinated, it’s clear their protocols for protecting against an outbreak may have laxed. Now the team is paying for it at the worst possible time. A rematch against the defending champions and they’re missing both a key pass rusher and now one of their starting tackles. This isn’t even counting the loss of Akiem Hicks to a groin injury.

This offense was already going to struggle to keep up with Tom Brady. Now they may not have a prayer. Tampa Bay stops the run better than anybody and Fields can only do so much when he’s not protected properly. This could be a difficult afternoon for Chicago. It would be quite a surprise if they managed to keep it close. Win or lose, they have some adjustments to make to their COVID protocols moving forward.

Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.