LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears paused all in-person football activities on Thursday after someone in their building tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced in a statement.
“Obviously, we’re not exempt from this pandemic,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said on a hastily arranged Zoom call. “We all know that cases are on the rise. And I just want to credit our players and coaches for adapting and staying flexible. It’s not easy. But we have the right mindset. I think that our guys showed that this morning with being able to adapt on short notice.”
A number of Bears players and coaches were inside Halas Hall early Thursday morning when the team learned of the positive test — the team’s fourth since Monday. The Bears immediately sent players and staff home and shifted to virtual meetings.
Three practice squad players — defensive tackle LaCale London, linebacker Manti Te’o and wide receiver Thomas Ives — were moved to the reserve/COVID-19 list this week after confirmed positive tests.
Nagy does not believe — based on preliminary information — that the latest positive test is related to any of the three active practice squad cases.
“We realize that we’ve had a few positive cases last week, so we just felt like right now this is our decision to just say, ‘You know what? Let’s just hit the pause button for right now,'” Nagy said. “Let’s not put any of our players, coaches, staff at any type of risk.
“Shoot, we’ve been doing Zoom meetings for weeks and weeks and really this whole season. Let’s continue to stick with our meetings via Zoom. And once we get more information … then we’ll get right back to it.”
The 42-year-old head coach left open the possibility of holding an indoor walk-through practice on Thursday evening, depending on whether the Bears receive the necessary medical clearance from the league.
The Bears (5-7) are scheduled to host the Houston Texans (4-8) on Sunday, and Nagy said it is too soon to tell whether the game will be affected.
“I think in regards to [the game], that just hasn’t come up,” Nagy said. “I think we’re trying to get through this here. But that has not been brought up or talked about.”