LAKE FOREST – Bears coach Matt Nagy came to Halas Hall on Monday morning and went through the same protocols the team has undergone since the start of the pandemic.
This time the coach got an unexpected result: a positive COVID-19 test.
“It’s a reminder to all of us to be extremely cautious and understand where we’re at,” Nagy told reporters in a Zoom meeting. “We’ve seen it with other teams in the league and society in general, so we’re working through all of it.”
Nagy said he didn’t have any symptoms when he arrived at Halas on Monday. Bears head trainer Andre Tucker called Nagy to inform him of his positive test. Nagy won’t be in the building for the time being.
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will run meetings that Nagy can’t be a part of virtually. The Bears went through this experience during OTAs and have a plan in place, which Nagy said will help them manage the upcoming week.
“I know our group of coaches and players are extremely resilient,” Nagy said, “and for us moving forward, we’re going to have a good plan put in place.”
Nagy said there are no new positive tests to report compared to Sunday. His test continues a trend of positives for the team. The Bears have placed five players on the COVID-19 list in the past 11 days. They were without two starters in Sunday’s 38-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Running back Damien Williams went on the COVID-19 list on Oct. 14. Since Williams first went on the list, wide receivers coach Mike Furrey has missed time because of COVID-19 protocols, and outside linebacker Robert Quinn, tight end Jimmy Graham, offensive tackle Elijah Wilkinson and inside linebacker Caleb Johnson have gone on the COVID-19 list. Wilkinson and Johnson went on the list Sunday when the team already was in Tampa, Florida.
Williams is the only one who has since come off the list, being activated ahead of Sunday’s game, which he did play in. Furrey also has returned to his coaching duties. The other four players all missed Sunday’s game. Two of them, Quinn and Wilkinson, were expected to start at their respective positions. They did not travel back with the team after Sunday’s game.
Nagy said there have been no team discussions about more players receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as more players on the team have tested positive, but he is grateful for the support staff that has helped the team get through times like the past few weeks.
“We have not had any discussions as a team in general,” Nagy said. “When you go through these different situations, for different reasons, it makes people understand where we’re at and how things can go. Really how the protocol works, too, if you have the vaccination versus if you don’t.
“It’ll definitely be something we look into and continue to discuss, but we have not had any of those team discussions.”