After his stellar debut on Monday Night Football, the Chicago Bears have signed rookie cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. to their 53-man roster from the practice squad. Against the Vikings Graham tallied 7 tackles and had 3 passes defended, and Pro Football Focus said that Graham “had one of the best rookie debuts of 2021” as they gave him a 90.1 grade.
Graham was a sixth round pick of the Bears out of Oregon, and after being in their last wave of cuts before the 2021 season began, the Bears signed him to their practice squad where he has been all season. Yesterday was the first in-game action he received all year, and if it wasn’t for the rash of positive COVID cases throughout the team he may have never been flexed to the gameday roster.
Speaking of the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the Bears were able to remove cornerbacks Artie Burns and Duke Shelley from the list, but they had to put defensive lineman Bilal Nichols on the list.
Nichols joins these players still on that reserve list; quarterback Andy Dalton, running back Ryan Nall, wide receiver Allen Robinson II, tight end Jesse James, offensive tackle Larry Borom, defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe, cornerback Jaylon Johnson, safeties Eddie Jackson and Tashaun Gipson Sr., and practice squadders outside linebacker Sam Kamara and wide out Isaiah Coulter.
The Bears also waived linebacker Ledarius Mack from their practice squad, which leaves them with one spot open.
They also have 45 players currently on their active 53-man roster, so as players start to come of the COVID list more players will need to be released.