The Bears made five roster moves on Tuesday, with all of them being related to offensive linemen.
Offensive tackle Jason Spriggs tested positive for COVID-19, and while offensive guard Germain Ifedi may still potentially play next Sunday against the Titans, he was deemed a high-risk close contact of Spriggs. Both players were placed on the NFL’s reverse/COVID-19 list, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Additionally, offensive tackle Bobby Massie was placed on the injured reserve with a knee injury, the team announced.
As corresponding moves to these designations, the Bears have promoted rookie offensive lineman Lachavious Simmons from the practice squad to the active roster. Taking Simmons’ place on the practice squad will be former Rams center Aaron Neary.
With Massie now being on the injured reserve, he must sit out for a minimum of three games. He will not be eligible to return to the field until Dec. 6, when the Bears take on the Lions at Soldier Field.
As for Spriggs, his return depends on whether he has displayed COVID-19 symptoms. If he is asymptomatic, then he may return either 10 days after his first positive test or five days, depending on if he receives two negative tests within those five days. If he has symptoms, then he must wait the full 10 days, as well as 72 hours since he last displayed symptoms.
These moves serve as a massive blow to the Bears’ offensive line, a unit that had struggled even before several players went down due to injury or illness. James Daniels has already been placed on injured reserve, while Cody Whitehair’s status appears to be week-to-week with a calf injury.
With Tuesday’s roster decisions, Charles Leno Jr. is the only Week 1 starter who is currently healthy for Chicago’s offensive line. The moves could propel the likes of Alex Bars and Arlington Hambright into the starting lineup, with Sam Mustipher and Rashaad Coward presumably retaining their starting spots from this week’s loss to the Saints.
EDIT: The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs is reporting that Mustipher suffered an injury late in their last game leaving his availability a question at this point.