REPORT: The Eddie Goldman Bad News Never Seems To End

eddie goldman
Jul 29, 2021; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman (91) runs a lap around the field at the start of a Chicago Bears training camp session at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears were thrilled when they knew Eddie Goldman was returning after his hiatus in 2020. That meant the interior of their defensive line would be back to full strength. Stopping the run would get much easier. Unfortunately, things just never seem to come easy with Goldman. Shortly after he returned, the problems started. It began with a bout of COVID-19 that he had to deal with. Then it was a back injury that sidelined him for a period of time.

Still, after a strong showing in the preseason finale, it looked like Goldman would be ready for the opener in Los Angeles. Now even that is in doubt. According to Adam Jahns of The Athletic, there are rumblings that the nose tackle is dealing with an undisclosed injury. While the severity is not known, one has to imagine this puts his status for Sunday night in question. Especially after the Bears worked out three defensive linemen earlier in the week.

Sure enough, news dropped shortly after Jahns tweeted that.

Margus Hunt and Damion Square were two of the guys Chicago worked out earlier in the week. Both are veterans. Hunt is a former 2nd round pick who has bounced around the league. While never a premier pass rusher, he did develop a solid reputation against the run. His 6’8, 300 lbs size also likely appeals to the Bears. As for square? The former undrafted free agent out of Alabama carved out a role for himself with the Los Angeles Chargers between 2014 and 2020 as a nose tackle.

He was never great but he was surprisingly serviceable despite being on the lighter side at 293 lbs. Will either of them play? That doesn’t seem likely. Chicago has good depth on their defensive line. It is likely each is merely insurance in case more injuries arise this weekend.

Eddie Goldman exit offers big opportunity to Khyiris Tonga

While it isn’t clear yet that Goldman will or won’t play, one has to assume these maneuvers suggest he is probably out. If that is the case, then the responsibility at nose tackle falls to rookie Khyiris Tonga. The Bears scooped him up out of BYU in the 7th round back in April. Some people were surprised he fell that far. Most likely because he was already 25-years old. A common issue with draft prospects from that school.

Still, Tonga didn’t waste his snaps in the preseason. Not only did he play well against the run including two stops for no gain, but he also had three pressures on the quarterback. Despite being 6’4 and 325 lbs, it can be easy to forget Tonga is way more athletic than he gets credit for. Knowing Eddie Goldman wasn’t a sure thing back in the spring, the Bears were wise to invest at nose tackle just in case.

That investment is already paying off.

It will be interesting to see how he handles starting his first-ever game presuming Goldman is indeed out. Having two capable veterans in Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols flanking him should be a big help. Even so, the Los Angeles Rams are always a challenge with Sean McVay. He will need to be more disciplined and dogged than ever. Here is hoping he does well.

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