A year ago, Eddie Goldman opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. And one week after returning to the Chicago Bears for the start of training camp, the veteran nose tackle was placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list.
As the Bears revved up their first padded practice of the season — Family Fest at Soldier Field — Goldman was nowhere to be seen. Later Chicago announced the 27-year-old would be on the shelf.
Update: Goldman was only the first Bear that was placed on the reserve/COVID-10 list. Linebacker Christian Jones, long snapper Patrick Scales, and offensive lineman Elijah Wilkinson were also put on the list. With Scales not at practice today, the team had second-year tight end Cole Kmet doing the long-snapping.
It’s important to note that the rules for COVID-19 protocols and the reserve list remain mostly the same as they were in 2020. Players are only placed on the list if deemed or reported that they’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. And they’re only required to go on the list if unvaccinated, with an allowed return no shorter than 10 days since their placement. Vaccinated players are not required to go into reserve if they’ve been in close contact with the virus but still can, of course, and are allowed to return after two negative tests 24 hours apart.
While it isn’t certain without exact confirmation, Goldman did give a press conference to start camp without a mask — denoting that he has been vaccinated. Unvaccinated players must wear a mask wherever they traverse inside Halas Hall, and at all times. He can obviously still contract the virus if vaccinated, though to a far less dangerous extent. Today’s move could be painted as more of a prudent precaution, especially for a player who already missed an entire season due to valid and related virus concerns.
There should be an update on Goldman’s status soon. Chicago cannot afford to move forward without their man in the middle for long.