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Bears’ Quinn, Wilkinson activated off COVID-19 list

Chicago gets a big boost ahead of Sunday’s pivotal NFC tilt.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Halloween time, but not everything is doom and gloom and fear in Lake Forest these days.

The Bears have activated edge rusher Robert Quinn and swing tackle Elijah Wilkinson, off the reserve/COVID-19 list. Quinn tested positive a few days after Chicago’s loss to the Packers, while Wilkinson was a last-minute addition right before the Bears’ defeat in Tampa Bay. Both are elevated to the active roster immediately, and both can play in Sunday’s game against the 49ers.

On a related note, Germain Ifedi was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Suffice to say; it’s a big deal that the Bears can at least enjoy the return of an elite edge rusher and their current starting right tackle. A crazy thought, I know. A hobbled Khalil Mack and a rookie in Trevis Gipson did not make life difficult for Tom Brady in the pocket last week. And, typically, you don’t want to start your third or fourth option at a book-end against players like Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquille Barrett.

In the long-term absence of Mack, Quinn’s steadying presence will be huge for an already hobbled Bears defense. Quinn has been one of the NFL’s best edge defenders this season, and that success will have to continue. The offensive upshot of Wilkinson’s return means that Chicago isn’t forced to start, say, a rookie like Larry Borom in his first game back from injury against an All-Pro like Nick Bosa. It’s the little things.

The Bears take on San Francisco on Halloween. With Quinn and Wilkinson back in the fold, their holiday has become a lot less spooky.