The Bears paused all in-person activities at Halas Hall Thursday morning after another individual tested positive for COVID.
But it was announced just before noon (CT) that they had been cleared to reopen the building and would conduct practice at 2:30 p.m. after all. That came after the Bears had held virtual meetings in the morning.
It all made for an interesting day at Halas Hall, but it was hardly unprecedented. All season, the coronavirus has forced Bears players and coaches—and their counterparts throughout the NFL—to constantly adapt and adjust to schedule changes.
"That's what this season is all about," said left tackle Charles Leno Jr. "We've been doing that since Day 1. I feel like we've already been through this situation in [training] camp—leaving and having to come back and do this over again. I'm just happy we were able to get to work and see the guys again. I was in here and I was told to leave and I thought I wasn't coming back. But coming back in was really cool seeing everybody again."
Before learning that the Bears would be able to return to Halas Hall and practice, coach Matt Nagy explained to the media via Zoom that the team closed the facility out of an abundance of caution.
"It's our decision to protect the players and the coaches, the staff and their families, and do what's best for the team," Nagy said early Thursday.
Nagy praised Bears players and coaches for the way they've handled schedule changes and other tumult that's resulted from COVID-19.
"Obviously, we're not exempt from this pandemic," Nagy said. "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."
The coach's comments came after the Bears had released the following statement:
"This morning we were notified that we had a positive COVID-19 test. As a result, the club has elected to pause all in-person football activities today and close Halas Hall. Instead, all meetings will be conducted virtually. The individual who tested positive has been contacted and has already begun self-isolation. We are working with the NFL medical experts to identify close contacts and follow the league's guidance. The health and safety of our team, players and staff are the highest priority."
It was announced later Thursday that the Bears were putting punt returner/receiver DeAndre Carter on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He's the team's fourth player to be placed on the list this week, joining three practice squad players: Defensive lineman LaCale London and linebacker Manti Te'o Monday and receiver Thomas Ives Tuesday.
The new roster designation was created this year for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or who have been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person.