Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Who is going to take Eddie Goldman's starting spot at nose tackle?
Given that the Bears have yet to practice since the end of last season, it's really impossible to say at this juncture who will replace Eddie Goldman in the starting lineup. With all preseason games cancelled due to COVID-19, playing time and positions on the depth chart will be earned in training camp practices. The top candidates to help fill the void created by Goldman opting out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus include John Jenkins, Roy Robertson-Harris, Bilal Nichols and Abdullah Anderson. It's important to remember that NFL teams, including the Bears, typically rotate their defensive linemen, so replacing Goldman figures to be a group effort with more than one of the aforementioned players sharing the workload.
If college football is affected by the pandemic, how will that hurt the Bears and other NFL teams preparing for the NFL Draft?
Orland Hills, Illinois
Well, it's already clear that COVID-19 will impact the college football season and therefore it will affect the way teams prepare for the draft. In addition to schedules being reduced and games possibly being cancelled, it remains to be seen whether NFL scouts will be allowed to attend games or practices or make campus visits. Bears general manager Ryan Pace discussed the changes involving the team's college scouts during the pandemic this week in a Sports Illustrated article written by Albert Breer, saying: "A college scout, right now they're at home, they like to map out their scouting schedule. Right now, it's just working from home and watching a lot of tape. But as far as when you're going to a school, at what time, that's not there yet."
Are Bears players going to wear face shields on their helmets this season to help contain the spread of the coronavirus?
It's my understanding that the NFL is encouraging players to wear face shields on their helmets this season, but it's not going to be mandatory. Bears players will test out the shields beginning Aug. 12 when a four-day ramp-up period begins and they can wear helmets on the field for the first time.
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.