A player on the Chicago Bears practice squad has tested positive for COVID-19 and contact tracing within the team is underway, ESPN reported Saturday.
The Bears had not announced a roster move to the COVID-19/reserve list as of early Saturday afternoon. This would be the first in-season case of COVID-19 among Bears players. They last had players on the COVID-19/reserve list in early August, shortly after players reported to training camp. The list is for players who have either tested positive or been in close contact with someone that has.
The Bears were last together as a team Thursday night when they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-19 at Soldier Field, but practice squad players are not allowed in the locker room or on the sideline on game days. The Bears players have the weekend away from Halas Hall because of the Thursday night game this week.
Bears coach Matt Nagy talked about the team’s COVID-19 precautions last week amid a rash of positive tests in the NFL, most notably 23 positive tests within the Tennessee Titans organization. Two games — the Denver Broncos at New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Titans — have been rescheduled this week because of positive tests.
“It wakes you up for sure,” Nagy said. “We’ve done a pretty good job here, and the players are — I don’t know if I would use the word ‘annoyed’ — but we stay on them pretty consistently. We are persistent in regards to nagging them (about) the masks always being on … when I can mandate that when we are inside. When we are outside, wearing them as much as you can as well. They’re not forced to wear them in practice. … When you really think about it, it’s really not that hard to put a mask on. Just wear your mask and wear it all the time.”
NFL players, coaches and staff are required to wear a Kinexon contact tracing device that measures a person’s close contacts while within team facilities. That allows staff to quickly conduct contact tracing when a positive test arises. Those people are then quarantined and tested.
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